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New York lawmakers pushes for tougher penalties if pets are harmed during crimes

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FLORIDA, N.Y. — A year after her goldendoodle dogs were shot dead during a burglary, upstate New York resident Denise Krohn is pushing for legislation to toughen animal cruelty laws.

“Kirby and Quigley’s Law,” named after the slain dogs, would make it a felony to harm a pet, even unintentionally, during a crime. Conviction would add two years behind bars on top of the jail time for the other crime.

The proposal currently faces an uphill fight among lawmakers. If it passes, experts say it would be one of the toughest animal cruelty charges in the nation. The state senate has repeatedly passed the law, but it’s been shot down by the New York State Assembly.

Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco says he introduced the bill after hearing about cocaine smugglers who hid drugs in the bellies of dogs and were charged only with trafficking, not cruelty.

Opponents say the existing cruelty law is sufficient.

PIX11’s Aliza Chasan contributed to this report.