BUFFALO, N.Y. — A state assemblyman is proposing legislation that could double the maximum penalty for people charged with animal cruelty.
Sean Ryan said he will sponsor the new legislation known as Phoenix's Law. It is named after the puppy who was set on fire in Buffalo, this fall.
The law would increase the maximum penalty for felony animal cruelty from two years to four years in prison. It would also double the fine from $5.
Ryan hopes the proposed law helps identify those who are also capable of hurting people.
"Often someone who abuses a vulnerable pet as a child grows up to be someone who abuses vulnerable adults and children," said the Buffalo assemblyman. "This law will help identify someone with that predisposition."
The legislation also calls for mandatory psychiatric evaluations for those convicted of animal cruelty.