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State Senate Approves Step Forward in ASPCA Animal Abuse Enforcement. Measure Still Has to Pass House

ALBANY- A bill that would allow SPCA officers to have access to the state’s live scan fingerprinting system used by law enforcement agencies following an arrest has unanimously passed the State Senate.  The Senate’s approval brings the measure one step closer to becoming law.

The measure, if adopted, would allow SPCA officers to complete the arrest procedures without the assistance of any other law enforcement personnel or agencies.  According to State Senator Peter Harckham (D, South Salem), the bill’s sponsor, the change will save time and ensure that accused individuals do not evade justice.  According to Harckham, most SPCA officers in New York must process their arrests through other law enforcement agencies.

“SPCA police officers need to have the full resources that will help them in their mission to protect defenseless pets and other animals from cruelty and neglect,” said Harckham.  “With live scan fingerprinting technology at their ready, these officers can know immediately if accused individuals have a history of animal abuse or are wanted for other violent crimes.”

In the State Assembly, the bill is currently in committee.According to Humane Society International, 85 percent of people arrested for animal abuse or cruelty have had multiple past arrests, an overwhelming majority of them felonies.  Also, 70 percent of those who committed domestic violence were also found to be animal abusers.

“Animal cruelty crimes are especially heinous in that they are done to the weakest of the weak:  animals,” said Chief Ken Ross of the Putnam County SPCA.  “These are gateway crimes to violent crimes against humans and have close ties to child abuse, adult abuse and domestic violence.

Source: Mid-Hudson News



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