On Tuesday in Albany, Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced the New York State Senate passed S2305A requiring animal abusers who have violated the State’s Buster Law register their name and address with the criminal justice services.
The legislation will further require all convicted animal abusers to undergo psychiatric evaluation and ban the person forever from owning an animal.
On June 28, 1999, the agriculture and markets law was amended to add Buster’s Law in cases of aggravated cruelty to animals:
“A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this section, “aggravated cruelty” shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.”
Buster’s Law was named after an 18-month-old tabby cat who was sadistically doused with kerosene and then set ablaze in Schenectady, New York in 1997 by a then 16-year-old teen, Chester Williamson. The culprit was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to three years probation. Animal lovers and humane supporters were outraged at the slap on the wrist for such a demonic crime.
Williamson later became a repeat violent offender and is currently serving out his sentence at Attica Correctional Facility for sexually abusing a 12-year-old disabled girl.
Still Buster’s Law has been criticized stating that too many abusers are escaping prosecution and stiff penalties. Officials hope the registry will help to prevent repeat animal abuse offenders from adopting or buying companion animals in pet stores or through breeders.
“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.”
The bill has now been sent to the assembly where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco ((R,C,I-Glenville).
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