Prohibits a person convicted of "Buster's Law" from owning or possessing a companion animal unless authorized by court order, after appropriate psychiatric or psychological testing.
Ayes (58): Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (2): Montgomery, Perkins
Excused (1): Smith
BILL NUMBER:S2566 REVISED 4/29/14
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to limiting the ownership or possession of companion animals by persons convicted of violating "Buster's Law"
PURPOSE: To increase penalties (maximum prison sentences and maximum fines) for engaging in animal fighting and committing the crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (aka Buster's Law) and require psychiatric evaluation/treatment for those committing the crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One - Amends section 353-a of the Ag & Markets Law to provide that no person convicted of a violation of "Buster's Lawn shall own or possess a companion animal, unless or until authorized by a Judge of the county court in the county of such person's residence. Further provides that no county court order shall issue unless the convicted person demonstrates that he/she has evaluation and that the results of such evaluation indicate clearly and convincingly that such person is of sound mind and possess the capacity and ability to properly care for such animal.
JUSTIFICATION:; The recent media fury surrounding Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick's dog fighting case including allegations that he brutally executed dogs not considered vicious or aggressive enough has focused attention on the gruesome world of animal fighting.
According to the U.S. Humane Society, dog fighting is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have made dog fighting a felony offense; 47 states prohibit the possession of dogs for fighting and 46 states prohibit being a spectator at a dog fight. In July 2007, the Humane Society ranked New York State 44th among states in the severity of its dog fighting laws. While the state considers dog fighting a felony, being a spectator (having paid an admission or made a bet) at these fights or owning or possessing a dog with the intent to use it in a dogfight are only misdemeanors. This bill would create felony penalties for these acts, significantly increasing both applicable prison terms and fines, to provide more meaningful deterrents against this blood sport.
The maximum prison term for the crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (aka Buster's Law), the intentional killing or intentionally causing serious physical injury to a companion animal with animal cruelty is only two years and/or a $5,000 fine. Animal cruelty is viewed by experts as an indicator for future violence against humans. This bill would increase the maximum prison sentence to four years and maximum fine to $10,000, making the punishment more fitting of the crime.
Animal cruelty is viewed by experts as an indicator for future violence against humans. Since his 1997 arrest that led to "Buster's Law," Chester Williamson has been imprisoned numerous times for crimes including Possession of Stolen Property and Attempted Burglary. In Fall 2007 his criminal path took a predictable turn with his arrest for attempted rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment of a
12-year-old girl. Requiring early intervention in the form of psychiatric evaluation and treatment would be another tool in the attempt to modify behavior patterns to halt this pattern for escalating abuse.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 06/21/13 - Committed to Rules/ 02/05/13 - A.4514 Referred to Agriculture
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2566 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 22, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. BALL -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to limiting the ownership or possession of companion animals by persons convicted of violating "Buster's Law" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 353-a of the agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, NO PERSON WHO IS CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL OWN OR POSSESS A COMPANION ANIMAL UNLESS AND UNTIL AUTHORIZED BY A COURT ORDER ISSUED BY A COUNTY COURT JUDGE OF HIS OR HER COUNTY OF RESIDENCE. NO SUCH ORDER SHALL BE ISSUED UNTIL SUCH CONVICTED PERSON FIRST DEMONSTRATES TO THE COURT THAT HE OR SHE HAS UNDERGONE PSYCHIATRIC OR PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING, THE RESULTS OF WHICH INDICATE BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF HIS OR HER CAPABLE AND SOUND MENTAL CAPACITY AND ABILITY TO OWN AND PROPERLY CARE FOR SUCH AN ANIMAL IN A HUMANE MANNER. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07300-01-3