Against the backdrop of cuddly and furry faces Tuesday morning, Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, and state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, renewed calls for a statewide registry of animal abusers and a ban on horse slaughter in New York.
Tedisco said in a statement that the state Legislature should use the remaining days of the session to pass these measures. “We’ve expanded the DNA database to help catch criminals and exonerate the innocent, and now we have an opportunity to advance additional public safety measures including protecting our pets from abuse and ensuring animal abusers don’t go on to hurt people,” he said.
The push was part of the third Animal Advocacy Day, which was held in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, featured the stories of notable abused animals and included exhibitors from rescue, shelter and animal advocacy groups. Steve Caporizzo, a Capital Region television meteorologist and longtime animal advocate, was master of ceremonies.
One of the notable advocates at the event was Saratoga Springs socialite Michele Riggi, who is well known for sharing her palatial home with three dozen dogs. She brought along her dog Queenie, who was rescued from a puppy mill where there were 75 dogs in a house.
“It was a very bad situation. ... She was probably in a crate her whole life,” Riggi said of Queenie’s old life, which included a devocalizing procedure. “She doesn’t have a voice, so I am her voice to stop this from happening.”
Also in attendance was Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, who stressed the importance of celebrating the animals in our everyday lives. “Animals of all kinds play important roles in our lives, and New York’s laws and policies need to reflect this, which is why we hold events like Animal Advocacy Day in Albany,” he said in a statement.
Tedisco used the event to highlight the animal cruelty cases of Hudson and Pearl, two of three puppies that were left for dead last year along train tracks in Albany. One of the three died, but Hudson and Pearl were nursed back to health and adopted. They and their owners were in attendance for Tuesday’s event.
“We have an obligation as a government to protect all members of our family, including those who have no voice,” Tedisco said. “Animal Advocacy Day matters because it’s about more than just protecting our four-legged friends, it’s about keeping people safe from harm.”
An expansion of Buster’s Law, which would include the creation of a statewide animal abuse registry, is included in Assembly bill 4516 and Senate bill 2305. The horse slaughter legislation is Assembly bill 3905 and Senate bill 4615.
More information about the event and the year-round efforts can be found on the “NYS Animal Advocacy Day” Facebook page.