“Rocky’s Law” Establishes Animal Abuser Registry in Orange County, NY

Paws Up!

Pictured: Legislator Mike Anagnostakis of Orange County, NY, who introduced

Pictured: Legislator Mike Anagnostakis of Orange County, NY, who introduced “Rocky’s Law”
Photo by: Jim Sebastian, The Times Herald

To the county legislature of Orange County, NY, for enacting “Rocky’s Law,” which establishes an online registry of animal cruelty offenders and prohibits offenders from owning companion animals.

According to a recent news article, county legislators in Orange County, NY, have passed “Rocky’s Law” aimed to prevent cruelty to companion animals in the county. In April, Edwardo Macedowas of Newburgh, NY, was arrested after leaving his dog, “Rocky,” outside in the snow for a period of 5 weeks with no food or water while he was out of town for vacation. By the time help arrived, Rocky’s physical condition was so poor that he had to be euthanized.

Soon after, Orange County legislator Mike Anagostakis introduced the bill that would become “Rocky’s Law.” Under this law, Orange County residents convicted of animal cruelty will be named on an online registry and prohibited from owning a companion animal for fifteen years. Repeat offenders will be barred from owning a companion animal for life.

Take action. Orange County residents, contact the Orange County legislators  and thank them for passing “Rocky’s Law.” Residents of other counties, contact your county legislators and encourage them to enact public registries for convicted animal cruelty offenders.

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New York Outlaws Pet Piercing and Tattoos; New Jersey May Follow.

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To New York for outlawing the cosmetic piercing and tattooing of dogs, cats, and other pets in the state.

According to a recent news article, New York has banned the cosmetic piercing and tattooing of pets. It is an unfortunate reality that such a law would even be necessary, but when a woman in Pennsylvania was found advertising “gothic” kittens with piercings and amputated tails online, two lawmakers in New York introduced a bill to ban the practice. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law in December. Only piercings or tattoos with a medical benefit will be permitted when the law goes into effect in the spring of 2015. Violators could be punished with a 15-day jail sentence and a fine up to $250. Legislators in New Jersey have also introduced a similar bill to prevent the painful and inherently cruel practice in their state.

Take Action: Residents of New York, contact Governor Andrew Cuomo  and thank him for signing this bill into law. Residents of New Jersey, please contact your legislators and ask them to support S2500  which would classify the cosmetic tattooing and piercing of pets as acts of animal cruelty.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State NYS
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

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New York Attorney General Helps Local Governments Fight Animal Cruelty

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To New York Attorney General Eric T. Shneiderman for protecting animals from abuse and neglect.

Local governments in New York now have greater authority to pass laws preventing animal cruelty and neglect.

Local governments in New York now have greater authority to pass laws preventing animal cruelty and neglect.

 Earlier this year, New York passed a state law granting local governments greater authority to regulate the pet trade within their communities. As part of his Animal Protection Initiative, New  York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is helping mayors and other officials on the local level understand their new powers. According to the NY Attorney General’s website, Schneidman’s office has sent 1,035 letters encouraging mayors to take advantage of the new law.  Schneiderman is also offering assistance in drafting local legislation that would thwart puppy mills, increase regulation, and heighten standards of care for animals in the pet trade.

Take Action: New York residents, contact your local mayor’s office to express your support of local laws that protect animals in the pet trade.

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Captive Chimpanzee “Tommy” May Gain Freedom as Legal Person

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Paws Up!
To attorney Steven Wise for representing chimpanzees in a New York Supreme Court appeal that could free imprisoned chimps.

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

According to a recent news story, a chimpanzee being held captive in New York may be freed from a life in a small cage on the premise that he is a wrongly imprisoned person. The 26-year-old chimpanzee named “Tommy” is currently living alone in a small concrete enclosure with a television set on the property of a sales lot for transport trailers near Gloversville, NY. He is being kept as a pet, and has no interaction with others of his own species. Steven Wise is the attorney representing Tommy. In October, Wise made the argument to the New York Supreme Court that Tommy, along with three other chimpanzees located elsewhere in New York, are persons being unjustly imprisoned. Recognition as a legal person would not grant Tommy and the other chimpanzees the rights and freedoms of human beings, but would grant them the basic legal right to not be imprisoned. The panel of five judges is expected to rule on the case in the coming weeks. Wise has recommended to the judges that the chimpanzees be relocated to North American Private Sanctuary Alliance located in Florida.

The designation of animals as persons is not entirely new. Last year , the national government of India recognized dolphins as ‘persons’  having their own established society and culture.  Dolphins therefore, cannot be held captive in India. Steven Wise is not representing all chimpanzees as a species, but if judges recognize Tommy’s personhood, this case could offer a legal platform to help captive chimpanzees throughout the United States.

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Sharks Not in Danger in NYS

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New York has joined several other states in a ban against the sale and possession of shark fins.

New York has joined several other states in banning the sale and possession of shark fins.

Paws Up!
To New York Governor Mario Cuomo for signing a bill to ban shark fins in the state.

A number of jurisdictions have banned the sale and possession of shark fins. New York State joins the list. According to a news article, Governor Cuomo said, “Not only is the process [shark finning] inhumane, but it also affects the natural balance of the oceanic ecosystem…[the state] will be doing its part to help preserve this important species and maintain a stable environment for them.”

Too many of our sea creatures are being destroyed whether to feed our appetites or as a result of industrial fishing practices. We all need to help support and preserve the ocean and its inhabitants.

Take Action: New York State residents, send a note of thanks to your legislators and the governor for their decision to protect one of nature’s premier sea creatures. Residents of other states, please contact your legislators to see if banning the sale and possession of shark fins should be on their agenda.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Tele. No.: 518-474-8390

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Animal Abuse Registries

Implementing animal abuser registries could prevent further cruelties to both people and animals.

Implementing animal abuser registries could prevent further cruelties to both people and animals.

Several states have legislation pending that would create animal abuser registries similar to child abuser and sex offender registries. An animal abuser registry would list individuals convicted of felony animal abuse or who committed certain violent offenses against animals.

Intentional animal cruelty is of particular concern as it is a sign of psychological distress and often indicates an individual may be predisposed to committing acts of violence toward humans. Since animal abuse is often an early sign of potential human abuse, tracking animal abusers would help protect not only the animals of a community but also the people. Therefore, creating and maintaining a registry of individuals convicted of felony animal cruelty can be an asset in identifying potential criminal behavior.

Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. Additionally, mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to animals to be an unquestionable warning sign. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders; and the FBI uses reports of animal cruelty in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

In addition, such registries could be valuable in tracking people who engage in illegal animal fighting, such as cockfighting and dog fighting; hoarders; and those who run puppy mills.

The following states have legislation pending:

Arizona SB 1161
ConnecticutHB 5205
New YorkS2305A
Hawaii SB 0528
OregonHB 2394
PennsylvaniaHB 0265 and SB 0320
South CarolinaHB 3045
VermontS 0009
VirginiaHB 2242

NHES urges the citizens of these states to contact their legislators and encourage them to support a felony animal abuser registry in their state.

Related Posts:
Animal Abuser Registries, June 2012
Animal Abuser Registries, Feb 2012
Animal Abuser Registries, Jan 2011

Speak up for Those Who May Be Silenced

Unnecessary surgeries such as devocalization put dogs at risk.

New York State is considering a bill that would ban the devocalization of cats and dogs. Devocalization, also known as debarking, convenience devocalization, bark softening, vocal cordectomy, and ventriculocordectomy, involves removing tissue from the animal’s vocal cords to reduce the volume of the sound. A devocalized animal will still make sounds—just not as loudly. The sound is more hoarse, raspy, or husky in nature.

The surgery is performed in one of two ways: going in through the animal’s mouth or through an incision in the throat and then through the larynx. The first method is preferred but both have their risks. The removed tissue may grow back or scar tissue may develop blocking the throat. If either of these occurs, the animal has to undergo a second surgery. Bleeding and infection are other complications of this surgery. Another complication of the surgery, one not often thought of, is the new sound may be just as annoying as the old one—just not heard at as great a distance.

New York State residents, contact your assemblymen and senators and urge them to support A 3431/S 6167.

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