Tedisco: animal abusers should be required to get a psychiatric evaluation

jim tedisco corgi gracieFollowing the latest gruesome turn in that large cat hoarding case spanning Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, Jim Tedisco is pushing legislation that would:

+ Require convicted animal abusers "undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment as warranted"

+ Place the names of people convicted under Buster's Law on a statewide registry

+ Prohibit anyone convicted under Buster's Law from owning a companion animal (ie, a pet), unless a psychiatric evaluation concludes "clearly and convincingly that such person is of sound mind and possess the capacity and ability to properly care for such animal"

Said Tedisco in a press release:

"Pet owners have a responsibility to raise animals in a safe, sanitary and humane environment and only take in animals they can reasonably care for. Animal hoarding is a sickness and anyone who would engage in this disturbing behavior may have a mental illness and needs to be treated before they harm more animals or hurt people. Animal hoarding also impacts neighborhoods by causing dirty and unsanitary conditions where disease and infestations can spread."

The proposed legislation sounds reasonable. There are always the details, though: who pays for the psych evaluations, would rescue orgs be required to check the registry before adopting out animals, and the prohibition against abusers owning pets would probably be difficult to enforce. But in this most recent cat hoarding case -- and many other cases -- it does sound like the people really do need some sort of psychiatric help.

Tedisco pushed for the passage of Buster's Law -- which makes aggravated cruelty to animals a felony -- in 1999. He also has a corgi named Gracie (see photo -- Gracie's the one on the left).

photo: Jim Tedisco Facebook

Comments

I'm excited about anything that will further help companion animals. The stories of neglect and abuse that invade the news is so upsetting for me, and furthermore, it's totally senseless and in many cases avoidable. I know naysayers poo-poo the expense, but I think it's minimal compared to the benefits.

People convicted under this law have proven they cannot properly care for an animal. Registry, yes. Prohibition on companion animal ownership, yes. Why the psychiatric evaluation? Would treatment for animal abuse differ based on extensive patient evaluation? Although, I suppose in many cases the convictions under this law are based on abuse of neighbors' and stray animals, so ownership prevention might not help. And why is the proposed legislation limited to "companion animals"?

Yes. DO IT.

We now know that animal abuse is often connected with domestic abuse. I suspect the psych evaluation component is see what else they can shake out while under scrutiny.

Pandering.

@bk
How is this "pandering"? Be it far from me to defend republicans on much of anything, but this is a good idea. Let's take it!

From Wikipedia:

Pandering is the act of expressing one's views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal. The term is most notably associated with politics. In pandering, the views one is verbally expressing are merely for the purpose of drawing support up to and including votes and do not necessarily reflect one's personal values.

I'm no fan of Tedisco's politics, but he's been an outspoken supporter of animal rights all along, and it's something I applaud him for. I really do believe it's an issue close to his heart. I don't think it's pandering. As the article states, he helped get Buster's Law passed, making companion animal abuse a felony in NYS-- back in 1999.

What Summer said.

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