Nationwide, lawmakers are strengthening and developing new legislation to protect animals from harm. New York State is no exception-- recently, legislation was proposed which would amend the New York Agriculture and Markets Law to allow for the creation of a task force which would examine New York State’s animal protection laws; help to unify anti animal abuse strategies that are employed across the state; and address issues concerning improving the relationship between humans and animals.
Currently, there is great disparity as to the enforcement of animal abuse laws across the state due in part to the fact that different agencies are responsible to conduct the investigations of animal abuse allegations, depending upon the jurisdiction. For example, depending on the county, the enforcement agency may be the police department, or the county’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In addition, as animal cruelty crimes are contained within the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, many law enforcement officers may not be thoroughly trained on matters concerning the enforcement of animal abuse offenses since their training is based upon the New York Penal Law. A task force could help address these issues and employ more effective and uniform strategies to ensure the protection of animals across New York State.
It is a crime to abuse an animal and those who do so can be prosecuted under state law. However, if your companion animal has been abused or neglected by another person, you may also have a civil cause of action against that person. Although pets are still legally considered “property,” the law is evolving more and more to recognize that they are part of the family. Contact an attorney to discuss what legal options you may have.
Contact The Law Office of Jessica M. Semins at (646) 397-6844 to schedule a consultation.
Attorney Advertising. The content herein is not to be construed as legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship.