A bill that would make stealing a dog or cat a felony has strong sponsors in the New York Legislature. It is one of the first laws in consideration that would take a much tougher stand on Pet theft hopefully paving the way for other areas to adopt similar legislation.
State Sen. Carl Marcellino and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick say the measure will elevate the crime to grand larceny from a misdemeanor and eliminate the difficult question of placing a value on a pet.
A person is guilty of pet theft in the second degree when he/she
steals a companion animal or pet, which is defined as a dog, cat or
other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the
household of the owner or person who cares for such animal. Pet theft
in the second degree is a class E felony and carries a maximum
sentence of four years imprisonment.
A person is guilty of pet theft in the first degree when he/she
commits pet theft in the second degree, and when (1) such animal is
sold for scientific research purposes; or, (2) with no justifiable
purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes
serious physical injury to such companion animal or pet with
aggravated cruelty. Pet theft in the first degree is a class D felony
and carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.