Murdered pets inspire new bill to strengthen ‘Buster’s Law’

kirby and quigley's law
Quigley (left) and Kirby were both fatally shot during a home invasion on February 17th.

In the wake of a shocking crime in the Capital Region, state lawmakers are calling for a new law (S.2936/A.1596) that would expand the definition of cruelty to animals. Specifically, the bill would impose two years in jail and a $5,000 fine on those who harm animals while committing another felony.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, and Senator Phil Boyle, the sponsors of the bill, are just two of the 25 state legislators who are getting behind this measure. The bill comes on the heels of a home invasion in Montgomery County that left two pet goldendoodles — Kirby and Quigley — shot dead during a home invasion in February.

On February, Denise Krohn left her home in Florida, New York, only to return a few hours later to find her family pets dead on the floor as a result of gunshot wounds.

“Whoever broke into the Krohn’s home and executed Kirby and Quigley is a cold-blooded killer who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Tedisco said. “It is by the grace of god that another member of the Krohn family was not present when this occurred as there’s no question in my mind that whoever would commit such a violent crime against a pet would not hesitate to harm a human.”

The bill would be named “Kirby and Quigley’s Law,” in honor of the two pets that were taken from their family in the senseless crime committed during a burglary.

“Thanks to the entire Krohn family who have allowed us to name the bill after Kirby and Quigley and turn their tragedy into something positive to raise money for our animal shelters and help other families in the future by increasing penalties for those who would commit such violent acts,” said Tedisco, the driving force behind the original Buster’s Law.

Sen. George Amedore, a strong supporter of the bill, said “the Krohns lost Kirby and Quigley, two beloved members of their family in a heinous criminal act. We need to do everything we can to protect all members of our families — including our pets — and make sure that these types of crimes are properly punished.”

The bill is ready for a floor vote in the Senate and resides in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

Sen. Boyle, who sponsors the bill in the Senate, said “I am both saddened and disgusted by the violent deaths of Kirby and Quigley. It is far too often that these despicable crimes against innocent animals go unpunished. The time is now to ensure that the punishment fits the crime for perpetrators who harm an animal in New York state.”

Passage of the law would expand the definition of aggravated cruelty to animals under “Buster’s Law” to include harm of animals while committing another felony. The crime is punishable by two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.