Assembly Member Seawright and Animal Rights Activists to Call for Stricter Laws and Enforcement for Animal Cruelty after Judge Hands NYC Hotel Owner Light Penalty for Setting Two Dogs on Fire

Upper East Side, Manhattan - Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawight will hold a press conference with NYC Animal Rights Activist and Ambassador to the American Humane Society, Jean Shafiroff, and Nassau County SPCA officials, today Friday, April 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm in front of the Carl Schurz Park small dog run, located at 1624 York Avenue on the Upper East Side. Local elected officials and animal activists will call on the State to toughen laws and enforcement following a decision by a judge, who handed a light sentence to a local hotel owner who set two dogs on fire.

Dream Hotel owner Vikram Chatwal was charged with a misdemeanor and violation after using an aerosol spray can to torch a pair of Jack Russell terriers in October of last year. Most pet offenses are violations under New York State's Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26. Currently, many animal cruelty acts carry penalties of a maximum of two years in jail.

Animal rights activists want acts of severe animal cruelty, including the killing of animals, to receive harsher panalties. Currently, people who kill animals or severely hurt them receive only a few months in jail or probation.

Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright said: "Animals need protections as much as humans. We must take action to prevent cruelty to animals by imposing harsher penalties on offendors. It is urgent that we come together now to strengthen our laws and ensure justice for those who do not have a voice."