Human InterestThe Putnam Examiner

Bill Introduced to Make Aggravated Animal Cruelty Bail Eligible

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State Assemblyman Matt Slater (R/Yorktown) has introduced legislation that would authorize bail for anyone charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

Under the 2019 bail reform laws in New York State, individuals charged with the offense are not eligible to be held with bail, allowing them to be repeat offenders. In addition, Slater said 75% of domestic violence victims have reported their abuser has harmed or threatened to harm their pet.

“For all of Gov. Hochul’s talk of fixing bail it is clear she failed. Animal cruelty has been established as a gateway crime to child abuse, domestic violence and even school shootings. Despite these facts New York State does not recognize aggravated animal cruelty as a bail eligible offense which only allows offenders to repeat these terrible crimes and to escalate their actions and create new victims,” Slater said Friday during a press conference in Carmel. “It is shameful that New York State does not recognize these correlations and give law enforcement and judges the ability to set bail on these crimes.”

Slater was joined by other elected officials at the Putnam County SPCA.

“The legislation Assemblyman Matt Slater has put forth is an important and needed change to bail reform. Animals have no voice and are among the weakest and easiest victims to terrorize,” said Chief Ken Ross of the Putnam County SPCA. “Studies show that individuals who commit these heinous crimes against animals will ultimately commit crimes against humans. In Putnam County, shown by the support of our assemblyman, county exec, district attorney and all the police agencies represented, we understand the correlation between animal cruelty and crimes against humans and hope the proposed bill helps in the fight against cruelty to animals.”

“​​According to the FBI, 75% of abused women with pets reported a history of being threatened or intentionally harmed by their abuser. If that isn’t enough, those with children being present and witnessing the violence are over 90% of the time,” said Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville. “Additionally, animal cruelty is a strong predictor of current and future violations. It is time we do something, and this is a good step.”




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