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Grisanti bill increases criminal penalties for animal cruelty during commission of a felony

by jmaloni

Press release

Mon, May 13th 2013 09:35 am

State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60, has introduced a bill that would increase criminal penalties to those who abuse or kill animals during the commission of a felony.

Just recently, according to The Buffalo News, an "incident occurred sometime between 6 p.m. Monday and 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, when the resident returned home to find that the front door of his Woodlawn Avenue home had been kicked in. The resident also found his dog stabbed, and Northeast District police said the dog died of its injuries."

"What we recently saw is a despicable act,"Grisanti said. "I hope the person who did this is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law. I will not tolerate this cowardly act, nor will the people in our community."

Senate Bill S. 5112, which was introduced Saturday, would fix a loophole. Current law defines aggravated cruelty to an animal as occurring when it is intended to cause extreme physical pain or is done in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.This section of law does not cover instances where a companion animal is killed or seriously injured during the commission of a felony. Grisanti said an individual who is committing a felony has already undertaken a serious violation of the law, and should be subject to this section of law when he kills or seriously injures a companion animal.

"Unfortunately, while the robbery is a felony, the act of killing the dog does not trigger an appropriate punishment," Grisanti said.

Earlier this month, Grisanti was awarded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Humane Leadership Award. Grisanti is a proud owner of two dogs, Fredo (Bicho) and Kody (Schipperke).

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