State senators passed “Kirby and Quigley’s Law” (S.1680) on January 30, a bill that would effectively allow police and prosecutors to charge an additional felony to criminals suspected of killing a companion animal during the execution of another crime.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle recently announced their reintroduction of the bill, named for two Montgomery County dogs that were killed during a home burglary in February 2016.
Senator Jim Tedisco, R- Glenville; Senator George Amedore, R-Rotterdam; Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam; and Senator Phil Boyle, R-Bay Shore, recently announced their renewed efforts to pass the bill, which would make harming a companion animal a felony, punishable with two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Despite fervent support in the Senate — it passed by a vote of 59-2 — the fate of “Kirby and Quigley’s Law” in the Assembly is not certain. A similar bill died there in the past five legislative sessions.
“The Senate has passed ‘Kirby and Quigley’s Law’ five years in a row,” said Tedisco. “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 bill became known as “Kirby and Quigley’s Law” last year after Denise Krohn came home to find her home burglarized and her pets shot and killed. Police told her that if they found the perpetrator, they would not face any charge for killing her two dogs. Since then, Krohn has been working closely with Tedisco and spreading awareness about the bill.
“It can be a battle sometimes but I know that I can’t give it up,” she said. “I know that my animals will be looking over animals all across New York.”
In an effort to push the Assembly’s passage of the bill, Senator Tedisco has launched an online petition to bring the Assembly bill (A.3038) to the floor for debate and an up or down vote in that house. Responsibility lies on Assemblyman Santabarbara, sponsor of the bill, and co-sponsor Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, R-Ballston Spa, to garner support in the Assembly and push it through the Agriculture Committee where it currently resides.
“As a society, we cannot be tolerant of brutal and deadly attacks like this on innocent animals,” Santabarbara said. “This tragic event reminds us that it’s our obligation to take the steps necessary to ensure their safety.”