In the wake of the shooting death of their two dogs during a burglary, a Montgomery County family is joining the push for new legislation that would increase the penalties for crimes against animals.
Denise and Patrick Krohn, whose goldendoodles Quigley and Kirby were killed last week in their home in the town of Florida, are holding a rally and fundraiser this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Florida Town Hall.
A description of the event invites the public to “please come out and celebrate two beautiful lives tragically lost and help raise awareness of animal cruelty crimes.”
The rally will feature state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, and state Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, who will be calling for the passage of a law, recently renamed after Kirby and Quigley, that would make harming a pet during the commission of another felony a Buster’s Law felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
“This enhanced penalty is important to ensure that perpetrators will be charged with felony animal cruelty charges when they are charged with other felonies such as burglary,” Tedisco said in a statement.
The law easily passed the Senate last year but did not move forward in the Assembly.
Patrick Krohn, who said on Thursday he “still can’t believe” what happened, said the family is looking at the passage of the law as a positive thing that could come from the tragedy.
“I’m pretty confident that this will get passed,” he said.
Buster’s Law, also pushed by Tedisco, made aggravated animal cruelty a felony after a cat was intentionally burned to death in Schenectady in 1997.
The Krohns’ dogs were shot to death on the evening of Feb. 18 while all members of the family were out. The burglar or burglars stole electronics and various other items from the home.
So far, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department has not reported any major headway in the investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact them at 853-5500.
Curtis Lumber is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The rally on Saturday will raise funds for the Animal Protection Fund and the Montgomery County SPCA.
Denise Krohn is a longtime teacher in the Greater Amsterdam School District, and Patrick Krohn said the family has had “a ton” of support since the crime. An online fundraiser set up by some students raised about $3,000 in 48 hours, he said, to help the family with things like replacing their bloodstained living room carpet.
Krohn said he could understand, if not defend or justify, a burglar attacking an aggressive dog, “but our dogs were very friendly and they weren’t aggressive at all.”
“This was just a senseless act,” he said.
Reach Gazette reporter Kyle Adams at 723-0811, [email protected] or @kyleradams on Twitter.