Activists press lawmakers on animal cruelty at meeting

Over 60 people attended R-CATS’ July meeting, which featured Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi and state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo.

Common Council President John J. Mazzaferro and Councilor Louis J. DiMarco Jr., D-7, were also in attendance. Attendees came from a four-county area — Oneida, Herkimer, Oswego and Onondaga.

The topic of discussion was "how to effectively change the animal cruelty laws to make the punishment or treatment fit the crime," the group noted. "While it might seem there are more pressing issues, animal cruelty and neglect is sometimes the stepping stone to violent human crimes. Constituents should make phone calls and write letters of support for such legislation to their elected officials."

R-CATS presented Brindisi and Griffo with petitions of support for such measures as a registry for animal abuse offenders and moving companion animal laws from Agriculture and Markets oversight to the Penal Code.

R-CATS is an all-volunteer effort in the City of Rome area dedicated to helping residents caring for outdoor cats. Donations and volunteers are always needed. More information can be found at www.r-cats.org and www.petfinder.com/shelters/NY1097.html.