New York: Put Teeth in Animal Fighting Law

Update
August 3, 2011:
Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law. Thank you to everyone who contacted the governor about this important bill.

June 21, 2011:
The New York Assembly passed the bill and it now goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

On June 1, the New York Senate passed a bill to strengthen the law against animal fighting. The vote was almost unanimous at 60-1.

S 3237/A 4407 would increase penalties by making it a felony to own or keep an animal for fighting instead of a misdemeanor, the current law.

In order to charge a spectator at an animal fight, the current law requires law enforcement to prove that the spectator had paid admission or made a wager on an animal fight. S 3237/A 4407 would eliminate that requirement, replacing it with proof that a spectator was "knowingly present" – a much easier standard for law enforcement to establish.

What You Can Do
New York residents: Send a polite letter now to Governor Andrew Cuomo to urge him to sign S 3237/A 4407. Please send your comments to Governor Cuomo through his online contact form.

Subject: Please sign S 3237/A 4407

Sample message:
I urge you to sign S 3237/A 4407 into law. This important bill, which overwhelmingly passed in the Senate and Assembly, will help law enforcement put a stop to the violent crime of animal fighting by strengthening penalties for animal fighters and facilitating prosecution of spectators. Please sign this bill to help law enforcement and the animals of New York.

It’s important to use your own words so that your message stands out and has more impact. Please add your own comments before sending this letter. Click here for letter writing tips.

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