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POV: Law will help keep animals safe

With the harsher punishments given to Buster’s Law, a law making it a felony—punishable with jail term for up to 2 years—to intentionally abuse an animal, it creates a record or pattern on that person. And with the addition of harsher punishments for dog fighting—already a felony conviction—like laws making it a misdemeanor to attend, and otherwise fuel the financial gains of a dog fight.

But why are these laws so important? What many people do not know is that many child abusers, spousal abusers, rapists and serial killers have a history of animal torture and abuse. These criminals choose to prey on those they find helpless victims and they get a rush on feeling powerful over easy targets.

Judges and prosecutors could then see a pattern with these individuals , and with a state-wide Animal Abuse Registry, there will be extra protection against that offender performing these same crimes and saving animal lives and in turn, possibly saving human lives in the process.

The then teenager, who set the cat Buster—for whom Buster’s Law is named—on fire prompting the passing of the law two years later (in 1999) is now a 3 time convicted felon, and he is now serving time in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old mentally disabled girl in Schenectady’s Vale park. See the connection?

Most of these offenders go back to more abuse. The recidivism rate for hoarders is reported being 100%, and dog fighting is profitable, so let’s make Buster’s Law and a State-wide Animals Abuse Registry a pair of laws that work hand-in-hand to prevent more animal fatalities and less crimes against humans in the future by some of these abusers.

Without a statewide registry, what will keep these abusers in the counties that require them to register? Plea deals reduce the amount of time served along with good behavior much of the time.

Jim Tedisco has sponsored a bill A1506-2011 that would “require each violator of Buster’s Law to register his or her name and address with the department of agriculture and markets.” There are similar bills popping up by other legislatures across the state. Please call your representatives and let them know how important it is to have a state-wide Animal Abuse Registry, it can save the lives of many animals and in turn, many human lives as well.

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