Saturday, September 20, 2014

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Group pushes for stricter animal cruelty penalties

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Group pushes for stricter animal cruelty penalties
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STATEWIDE -- There have been many cases of animal abuse making headlines around the state in recent weeks. In particular, there is one case in the city of Syracuse that has local animal advocates calling for harsher penalties.

A pit bull, named Grace by the animal control office that picked her up, was found abandoned and abused. She was emaciated, dehydrated, and had an eye infection when she was taken in, and was eventually euthanized on Saturday due to her poor condition.

Grace's owner is charged with animal cruelty, which is a misdemeanor. But, Cuse Pit Crew, a pit bull advocacy group, has created a petition asking lawmakers to move companion animals from the Agriculture and Markets area, into Penal Law, which would allow for stiffer felony charges.

"We do believe that when somebody abuses or neglects an animal, that's a serious crime, and that somebody should be charged with a felony," said Stefanie Higgins, Cuse Pit Crew President. "Our hope is that in putting that out there, people would be less likely to abuse or neglect their animal."

The petition currently has 300 signatures. If you would like to learn more, head to www.cusepitcrew.org.

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