Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Assemblyman Tedisco says a law is needed to stop animal hoarding, abuse


ALBANY — In light of the recent discovery of more than 130 cats being hoarded in a Halfmoon mobile home and the remains of another 44 cats uncovered in Johnsonville, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco said legislation aimed at mitigating animal abuse is needed now more than ever.

“It’s a serious problem, and I don’t think it’s going away,” said Tedisco, R-Glenville.

Tedisco sponsored three bills in January that would create a statewide registry for animal abusers, prevent them from ever legally owning an animal again and require them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

“(Hoarding) is a form of animal abuse,” Tedisco said, “but it’s also a disease and sanitary problem for homes and neighborhoods.”

Tedisco said he would like animal hoarders and abusers to have access to mental health assistance, but also wants to prevent them from legally owning animals again.

Albany County passed a law last October to enact an animal abuse registry that is checked by pet stores and shelters before animals are sold or placed in adoptive homes. That law followed other counties in the state, but Tedisco said that is “a piecemeal effort.”

Tedisco’s proposed law would make it a misdemeanor for anyone on the registry to own a companion animal or pet.

“Owning an animal is not a right, it’s a privilege,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to solve the problem totally, but this would help to mitigate it.”

Tedisco said the law has not yet been acted on by the state Legislature..."   Link

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