Three public safety bills pass Senate

Denise Krohn, whose two dogs, Quigley and Kirby were killed during a burglary, poses with Sen. James Tedisco with his dog Gracie. (Photo submitted)

ALBANY — The state Senate has passed a bill named after two Montgomery County dogs who were killed during a home burglary in 2016. The bill will now move to the Assembly.

Sen. Jim Tedisco, R — Glenville, announced Thursday that the senate has passed three of his public safety bills aimed at protect pets and people.

“We have an obligation as a government to protect all members of our family, including those who have no voice. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who fail to see the value of our companion animals, resulting in animal abuse, cruelty and neglect, which occur far too often. Animal cruelty is a bridge crime and a top tier Group A offense for the FBI, when it comes to crime reporting and is on their criminal profile as those who are so dastardly as to harm our pets can and often do go on to hurt people,” Tedisco said in a news release.

The first Tedisco measure, “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” would make it a Buster’s Law felony punishable with 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for harming a companion animal during the commission of another felony.

“Kirby & Quigley’s Law” was named for two town of Florida dogs who were shot and killed during a Feb. 2016 burglary which is still an unsolved case. The two doodle-type canines were the dogs of Denise and Patrick Krohn.

It passed the Senate by a vote of 61 to 0. The bill has passed the senate before but is still awaiting passage in the Assembly.

“The Krohn family are true heroes in helping to get this bill passed as they have turned their terrible tragedy into something positive to help others. There’s no question that anyone who would invade a home and assassinate two loving dogs in cold blood would harm a human being,” said Tedisco in a news release. “The Senate has passed ‘Kirby and Quigley’s Law’ six years in a row and now it’s time for the Assembly to bring justice to the Krohn family and to the memory of Kirby and Quigley by enabling this bi-partisan legislation to come to the Floor of the Assembly for a debate and up or down vote.”

The second Tedisco bill, prohibits those convicted of violating “Buster’s Law” animal cruelty felony statute from owning or possessing a companion animal and ensures convicted abusers receive a psychiatric evaluation, passed by a vote of 61 to 0.

The third Tedisco bill, which passed by a vote of 61 to 0, would increase penalties for violating “Buster’s Law” from the current two years in jail and a $5,000 fine to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The bill increases prison time for those convicted of organizing the barbaric practice of animal fighting from four years to six years in prison and boosts fines from $25,000 to $30,000. It also increases the penalty for those who are knowingly present as a spectator at an animal fight from a misdemeanor with one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“These measures aren’t just about protecting our pets, they’re about keeping all members of our family safe from violence. Serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz as well as the Columbine High School shooters all started out as animal abusers before they began preying on people. There’s often a direct correlation between domestic violence and animal cruelty,” said Tedisco in the news release.

Tedisco also held the 8th annual state Animal Advocacy Day at the state Capitol to bring together legislators, law enforcement, animal shelters, and members of the public to call for strong public safety legislation to protect pets and people.

Tedisco was joined by Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown, who successfully prosecuted the “Stratford 22” case of animal cruelty toward 22 French mastiffs in the sown of Stratford.

All three public safety bills now move to the Assembly for consideration where “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” is being sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D–Rotterdam, and the other two bills are sponsored by Animal Advocacy Day Co-Chair Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal, D–Manhattan.

“Earlier this year, I passed ‘Suzanne’s Law — the Assault-Free School Zone Act’ and ‘Jacobe’s Law,’ to protect some of our most vulnerable populations: our children and students from violence and bullying on school grounds,” said Tedisco. “Protecting the least of our creatures from those who go on to hurt parts of our human families is an important and significant accomplishment. And now we ask our Assembly colleagues to do the same.”

The person or persons responsible for the killing of Kirby and Quigley is still being sought anyone with information about the incident can contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (518) 853-5500, or can make an anonymous tip through the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers at www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com or by calling 1-866-730-8477. A reward is available in this case.

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