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Crime

State Senate votes to prevent more animal cruelty by convicted abusers

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National Public Radio
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The New York State Senate has voted to prohibit any individual convicted of animal cruelty from working in animal shelters.

The measure (S2937) passed the Senate on Wednesday and now moves to the Assembly for consideration. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Patrick Gallivan of Elma, said the measure aims to protect dogs, cats and other animals from people who have mistreated them in the past.

"Too often people who have been convicted of abusing animals work or obtain jobs at shelters intended to protect animals," the Republican said. "We don’t allow child abusers to work in daycare centers and we should not permit animal abusers to hold positions in which they oversee the care of dogs, cats or other animals.”

He said bolstering animal protections is also needed because research shows a connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence, mental health and child abuse.

If passed, the legislation would apply to humane societies, animal shelters or local government animal control agencies.

The Senate also passed a bill (S1432) criminalizing the act of causing a minor to attend animal fighting venues. Gallivan said the measure sponsored by Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) will help protect the emotional development of children.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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