NYS Senate Approves Animal Abuser Registry

Phoenix, a dog set on fire by a teen, with Sen. Greg Ball
Phoenix, a dog set on fire by a teen, with Sen. Greg Ball
Albany, N.Y. – (6/18/13) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced that the New York State Senate has passed S2305A, legislation that will require those that violate Buster’s Law by abusing animals, register his or her name and address with the division of criminal justice services, undergo a psychiatric evaluation and will also ban them from ever owning a pet again.

Buster’s Law, which was passed in 1999, made aggravated animal cruelty in New York State a felony. NYS CLS Agr & Mkts Section 353-a. Buster’s law was named after a cat that was doused in kerosene and lit on fire in 1997. Now Senator Ball has passed a bill in the Senate to take “Buster’s Law” even further and create an animal abuse registry.

The animal abusers registry will contain the names and addresses of persons convicted of violating Buster’s Law in New York State. By maintaining the registry with current information and providing easy accessibility to the public, those involved in the sale or adoption of animals can refer to the registry before allowing an individual to take ownership of an animal.

“Buster’s Law was a landmark bill for our furry little friends. This animal abuse registry will prevent repeat animal abuse offenders,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Persons who commit crimes against animals represent some of the worst kind of people, and often expand their carnage to their neighbors and the larger community. Most people can agree that the level of respect and kindness shown for animals, creatures who cannot speak for themselves, or protect themselves and are easily abused and taken advantage of, is a fine predictor of how a person will treat their peers. Violent and cruel behavior towards animals, cannot and should not be tolerated.”

As there are laws to protect children and the elderly from abuse, it is important to extend this means of protection to animals as well. Much like Megan’s Law was designed to prevent sex offenders from repeating crimes against children, this legislation will serve to prevent animal abusers from committing repeat offenses.

The bill has been sent to the assembly where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville). The Assembly version is A4516-A

“As legislators, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We’ve passed three consecutive on-time budgets, cut taxes for middle class families and begun to help get New York working. We’ve expanded the DNA database to help catch criminals and exonerate the innocent, and now we have an opportunity to advance additional public safety measures including protecting our pets from abuse and ensuring animal abusers don’t go on to hurt people,” said Assemblyman Tedisco, the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s Law and the sponsor of the Buster’s Law registry in the Assembly. “Thanks to Senator Greg Ball for shepherding this bill through the Senate. This was a top priority at our NYS Animal Advocacy Day. Now we need to push the Assembly to protect all members of our family.”


If this bill passes, New York would be the first state to establish an animal abuse registry. Call your New York Assembly Member and urge him/her to support S2305-A/A4516-A.

New York Set to Broaden Efforts to Stop Puppy Mills

Puppy50_4x6The New York state legislature has passed a measure, A. 740-A/S. 3753-A that will allow municipalities to regulate puppy mills. Under current law only the Department of Agriculture and Markets can regulate “pet dealers” which are basically dog and cat breeders”. The state defines a “pet dealer” as “any person who engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals per year for profit to the public. Such definition shall include breeders who sell or offer to sell animals; provided that a breeder who sells or offers to sell directly to the consumer fewer than twenty-five animals per year that are born and raised on the breeder’s residential premises shall not be considered a pet dealer as a result of selling or offering to sell such animals. Such definition shall further not include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged.”

The Department of Ag & Mkts maintains a severely underfunded inspection program for pet dealers; as soon as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the measure and it takes effect, the municipalities can now assist by passing their own regulations and taking action to rid their communities of cruel puppy mills.

Under the bill municipalities can pass ordinances or take action to protect the health or safety of animals held by pet dealers, regulate the source of animals offered for sale by pet dealers, including requiring spay/neuter before sale, and protect consumers. The only limit is that municipalities cannot ban all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner”. Also, penalties cannot exceed $500 per violation.

Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Sen. Mark Grisanti were sponsors.

Bill Requires Shelters to Do More to Reunite Pets with Families

DogshelterpicNew York Assembly Member Amy Paulin has re-introduced as a stand alone bill provisions from last session’s shelter access bill that would help owners find lost pets. The new bill, A 3843, has already passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is now in the Codes Committee. The Senate version, S. 4203-A, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Grisanti, is pending in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

A. 3843/S. 4203-A requires shelters within 24 hours to take steps to (1) check animals for all currently possible forms of identification including, but not limited to, tags, microchips, tattoos or licenses; (2) make available to the public on the internet on a website or other public means if a website is not practical, at least during the redemption period, a photograph, if practicable, and a general description of the animal to assist the owner(s) in finding the animal, including the species, type, and breed(s), if known, though information about the animal may be withheld if deemed appropriate to facilitate finding the owner(s) or otherwise to protect the safety of the animal.

Shelters are also required to compare the information known about the animal with records of animals reported to be lost or stolen pursuant to NYS Ag & Mkts. Sec. 112 as soon as the records are available following seizure or taking possession of an animal. The description of a dog already required by Sec. 113, Subd. 4 to be recorded is extended to include all animals impounded under Sec. 373 and specified to include the identifying information found on the animal, the species, type, breed, coloring, markings, and approximate size and weight.

The hold period is not triggered until after the above steps are completed.

The bill also clarifies the current redemption period as set forth in Sec. 117 applies to all animals seized or taken in under Sec. 373 and not only dogs. The bill also clarifies that provisions requiring notice to an owner personally or by certified mail, with extended holding periods when an owner is identified, apply also to all animals seized or taken in under Sec. 373 and not only dogs.


Let’s pass this bill that will help lost pets find their homes! If you live in New York, find your state Assembly member here. Find Assembly Member Joe Lentol, Chair of the Codes Committee here. Contact your Assembly Member and Assembly Member Lentol and urge them to support A. 3843 to help lost pets find their people. Also, find your New York state senator here and Sen. Patty Ritchie, chair of the senate Agriculture Committee, here. Contact your state senator and Sen. Ritchie and urge them to support S. 4203-A to help lost pets find their people.

Video Reveals Ghastly Cruelty in Foie Gras Production

geese_on_water_with_ducks_photographs_photos_pictures_1024_x_768New York State Senator Tony Avello has introduced a bill, S.B. 456, that would make it illegal under the state’s animal cruelty law, NYS AG & Mkts. Law Section 353, to “force feed[] a bird, by hand or machine, for the purpose of fatty enlargement of [the] bird’s liver”. This would make production of foie gras in New York illegal animal cruelty.

Mercy for Animals has released camera footage of the force feeding of ducks and geese in New York at Hudson Valley Foie Gras. There are two known facilities that produce foie gras in the state. This bill would shut them down. The disturbing undercover video shows ducks and geese in dire pain as tubes are forced down their throats. The video reveals ducks left for dead, covered in blood. There are conscious ducks, shackled, while their throats are slashed.

In 2004 California enacted a state law, Cal Health & Saf Code §§ 25980-25984, to outlaw not only the production but also the sale of foie gras statewide. The law took effect in 2012. Go here for more on earlier efforts to ban foie gras production in New York.

Foie gras is considered a delicacy. It is fattened duck or goose liver. To make foie gras, producers confine ducks or geese in sheds and force feed them extraordinary quantities of food two or three times each day for some weeks. To force feed these animals, a metal pipe is shoved down their throats. Food is then pushed through the pipe into their stomachs. The birds are forced to consume each day ¼ to 1/3 of their body weight. The force feeding results in livers swollen to ten times their normal size and fatty liver disease. The animals have difficulty standing, walking and breathing. They choke and suffer ruptured throats. Their legs become crippled and they develop sores.

These birds are denied all natural behaviors as they are tortured each day in a dark shed. Many die during this process. It is an understatement to describe it as a cruel and inhumane process.

Surely, humans do not need to torture animals to create delicacies.


Find your New York state senator here. The bill, S.B. 456, has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Find committee members here. Call or write (faxes or letters are best) your state senator and committee members and urge them to support an end to cruel force feeding of ducks and geese.