ALBANY, N.Y. -- In light of disturbing reports of animal cruelty on the rise in New York, state Sen. Terrence Murphy saw a bill he sponsored to address the issue pass in the Senate, according to a press release.
"Animal cruelty is a key indicator of future violence toward human victims, and yet under current law repeat offenders only face misdemeanor charges," Murphy said in a press release. "Treating animal cruelty as a felony will create more of a deterrent apropos of these heinous and profane acts against helpless animals. Whether it is direct violence or neglect, animal cruelty is wrong in all forms." The bill authored by Murphy would increase the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing, killing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal to a felony, if convicted within five years from the date of a prior conviction, according to a press release. It still must pass in the state Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. Raising the penalty to a felony for subsequent acts of cruelty will help law enforcement curb such activities and allow for the imposition of lengthier periods of court supervision or imprisonment, Murphy said in a press release.
"Treating repeat offenses of animal cruelty as felonies is consonant with the goal of preventing future violence toward human and animal victims," he said.