Confirmed victory

Please support Grace, a pit bull who was severely neglected and had to be humanely euthanized on October 6, 2012. We will not forget Grace and the emotional and physical pain and suffering she suffered as a result of her owner's neglect.

Currently those charged with abusing or neglecting companion animals are only subject to a misdemeanor charge under NYS Agriculture & Markets Law. We are asking that companion animals be moved out of NYS Agriculture & Markets Law into New York State Penal Law so that those charged with animal abuse or neglect could face a felony charge.

Letter to
New York State Senator David J. Valesky
Dear Senator Valesky:

On October 1, 2012 a severely neglected pit bull was picked up by the City of Syracuse Animal Control. At half of her normal body weight, she was extremely malnourished, unable to walk or hold up her head, making it almost impossible for her to eat or drink. After being examined by local veterinarians, it was deemed that her organs were shutting down; treatment may not work and if it did would only prolong her life by a couple weeks. Unfortunately she had to be humanely euthanized on Saturday, October 6, 2012. The animal control officer who picked her up lovingly named her Grace and an entire community came together to love and support her during her last days.

Cuse Pit Crew, a local pit bull advocacy group operating under Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse, along with other animal welfare advocates and concerned citizens rallied together to provide emotional and monetary support for Grace as well as expressed outrage over such a case of neglect.

An arrest has been made in connection with the neglect of Grace. Unfortunately in New York State, companion animals, like cats and dogs, still remain under the NYS Agriculture & Markets Law – Article 353 which concludes that an individual charged with neglect, including failure to provide medical care, will only face a misdemeanor charge. We are requesting that the legislators of NYS move companion animals out of the NYS Agriculture & Markets area and into NYS Penal Law. By doing so, those who are charged with committing abuse or neglect towards a companion animal would be charged with a felony.

What happened to Grace should never have to happen to another companion animal. Those charged with neglecting a companion animal should face harsher penalties. Please lead us in making this change. As a member of the Agriculture Committee and a NYS Senator representing the Central New York area, we believe you have the ability to ensure that this much needed change happens in memory of Grace and all of the other animals who suffered from owner abuse or neglect.