New Law Aims to Protect Innocent Pets from Abuse

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They are our best friends, our family members, our sidekicks, and we would do anything for them.  But sadly, not everyone treats their pets with as much respect, and for those unfortunate animals that find themselves in homes where they are abused, protection is needed.  In response to the heart wrenching and disturbing video of a Harlem man violently kicking his dog in an elevator, City Council has proposed much needed legislation to protect these defenseless and yet still loyal animals.

Though 28 year old Brian Freeman was arrested and charged with torturing an animal, the damage has been done, and there is no legal mechanism in place to prevent it from re-occurring with another animal.  “We want to keep defenseless animals out of the hands of known abusers,” said Council Member Peter Vallone, who is co-sponsoring the legislation.”Right here in Astoria, we had a punk who threw his dog out of a window, and right now there’s nothing stopping him from going to an animal shelter and adopting a puppy.”

This legislation involves a registry which shelters would be required to check before giving pets to prospective owners.  If a name appears on the list that person would be unable to adopt.  The legislation unfortunately does not cover pet stores, however it does make it more difficult for offenders to purchase pets.

The registry would be shared among law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, dog or cat protective associations, animal control officers, pet shops and animal shelters.

A first offense leads to a 5 year ban on pet adoption, and for a subsequent offense the name of the perpetrator would be on the list for 10 years. Crimes that would result in inclusion in the registry include among others, animal fighting, abandonment, aggravated cruelty and failure to provide proper sustenance.

Some would say that even this is not enough, that known abusers should never be allowed to have another pet, but it does send a big message.  Pets are faithful, love us unconditionally, regularly protect us from danger, and should be protected from all harm.

4 thoughts on “New Law Aims to Protect Innocent Pets from Abuse”

  1. I totally agree with this, normally I think the government gets way to involved with legislation that is way over board, but I agree with this! We have a group here of Latinos in our rural area that was charged with cock fighting, they had huge parties with folks from all over coming to watch the fights. Animal control was called and all the birds removed. Well guess what; now they do rodeos! They run calves for hours on end, roping them and tying them (I’ve heard a few have died, but wasn’t there so don’t know if it’s true) If you abuse one type of animal what’s to stop you from abusing another? I can’t believe they are allowed to have animals let alone host these huge rodeos in their back yard every weekend. If they have been charged in the past why oh why can they have other types of “events” now?

  2. I think it is a good start and glad to see this finally being addressed, but I think it is still too leniant.


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