Demand Protections for Wildlife in NY

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We are calling on you to extend the protections given to domestic animals to wildlife, thereby giving consideration to quality of life right to be free from intentional or unnecessary suffering, the right to medical care and protection from harassment and cruelty of sentient beings who are not kept as 'pets'. 

If people faced consequences for harming, accidentally or intentionally, squirrels, raccoons, possum and other wild animals, it would decrease the likelihood that they would act in ways that have serious consequences for wildlife including careless driving. 

Studies have correlated cruelty to non-human animals with pathology that later results in cruelty to humans. 

In 2016 Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple expressed outrage at the inability to prosecute teens who were torturing porcupines because no laws existed to protect wildlife. 

More recently, on March 16th 2018 I attempted to obtain help for a raccoon partially
paralyzed but still very much alive after a hit and run.

I stayed with the raccoon for about 45 minutes watching the raccoon struggle to walk to safety, dragging themselves from the scene of the hit and run.

I saw the fear and pain in the raccoon's eyes and reassured him or her that I would get help. 

I was unable to keep my promise. 

The only 'help' that would arrive was a police officer and EnCon officer. 

The officer's response was to fasten a loop around the raccoon, drag him or her across the lawn (which
in and of itself was a hideous sight) bring him or her into a truck
and shoot him or her.

If the victim had been a dog or a cat the
response would have been different.

Someone would have set up a gofundme campaign and gotten the animal
veterinary care, perhaps even a little wheelchair. Whether or not the cat or dog had rabies would not have been a primary concern. Whether or not the cat or dog was a nuisance would be irrelevant. Anyone who suggested dragging the cat or dog across the lawn like dirty laundry and shooting him or her would be considered a monster. 

I was told by EnCon that sadly, what happened to this raccoon happens
all the time.

I would like to propose legislation that extends the same protections
to wildlife in NYS that is enjoyed by domestic pets. Legislation that
would, among other things, make it a crime to commit a hit and run
involving wildlife as well as impose serious penalties for injuring or
harassing wild animals.

Though not everyone is as emotionally concerned with animals,
especially wild animals, if nothing else it is worth noting that the
same justifications our society makes for inhumane treatment of
various species can and has been extended to justify atrocities toward
different groups of humans historically. The impact of this attitude has been replicated in social psychology research in the work of Stanley Milgram. 

By changing the paradigm when it comes to the attitudes toward animals
we are also taking measures to improve attitudes toward our fellow