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Editorial: Big Dog’s Gotta Eat

An article from page 3 of last week’s issue of The Westbury Times sparked (barked, in this case) some conversation around the water cooler here at Anton.

The article highlighted a New Cassel man who was recently arrested for animal cruelty, among other charges. The man’s 3-year-old pit-bull terrier, Bronco, weighed in at 29 pounds when police officers found him, while pit-bull terriers that age normally weigh 60 or 65 pounds.

Many co-workers who came across the article pointed out the same portion of the article: As part of his plea, [the defendant] is prohibited from owning, harboring or having custody or control of any animals for five years.

Luckily Bronco was rehabilitated and has since found a new home, but I couldn’t help but think about the fate of Bronco, Jr. five years down the road.

Coincidence or not, I received an email from Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office a few days later regarding some newly proposed legislation to strengthen animal cruelty laws here in Nassau.

As part of the legislation, several animal cruelty and animal fighting charges in the first degree would result in felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison. If someone commits second-degree animal cruelty twice in a 10-year span, they will be charged with first-degree animal cruelty. The proposed legislation would also create four new charges, including animal abandonment and endangering the welfare of an animal.

Most people I know quickly change the channel when those animal cruelty commercials pop up, but it’s reassuring to know that steps are being taken to ensure there are fitting punishments for the heartless people guilty of those crimes on the screen.

Keep an eye out for animal cruelty here in Hicksville and our surrounding communities. While adopting or rescuing may not work for you and your family, please remember all dogs, big and small, gotta eat.

– CT