Assemblyman Joe Lentol announced that the State’s recent expansion of the DNA databank will include offenders convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals. Under new legislation, the databank will require DNA samples from those convicted of all felonies and all penal law misdemeanors, with the exception of individuals convicted of class B misdemeanors of criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.
Lentol considers the inclusion of aggravated cruelty to animals in the DNA bill a great victory. Because the crime is part of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, it would not have fallen under the crimes where DNA retrieval was required. However, thanks to Lentol’s efforts, the new law will not only protect future crime victims, but animals as well.
“It has been proven that cruelty to animals is one of the biggest predictors of future violent crimes. By requiring these offenders to submit DNA samples we advance our law enforcement’s ability to solve these cases and protect future victims,” said Lentol. “Of course, we also guard the well being and health of animals. They deserve the utmost protection too.”
As Chairman of the NYS Assembly Codes Committee, Lentol has been actively engaged in promoting and protecting animal rights.