Agriculture committee will consider animal abuse bill

Efforts to curb animal abuse will be on the agenda when the state Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. the State Office Building in Utica.

A number of bills have come before the legislature on animal cruelty. State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, is the sponsor of a bipartisan bill calling to establish an animal abuser registry statewide, with community notification requirements. So far there has not been a vote on that bill.

Griffo also points to Senate passage two weeks ago of a measure that would make stealing a licensed dog or cat a felony and takes into account the monetary and emotional value of a pet.

He also referenced the case of a West Utica man who was charged after both dead and emaciated dogs were found in his apartment and the report of a Utica couple faced with neglecting and starving animals.

"I am sickened and alarmed at the increase in serious cases of animal abuse and neglect across our region," said Griffo.

The committee will also review most legislative initiatives dealing with companion animals.