WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — Walking through the SPCA in Niagara County, animals look back through the cages, many of their eyes showing a glimpse in what their former lives were like, the paperwork, explaining it a bit more.
“You never get used to seeing that abuse,” said Amy Lewis, the Niagara County SPCA director.
Lewis has learned different ways to cope with seeing abuse and neglect. She feels something that has helped in the county is their registry naming people who have been convicted of mistreating animals.
“Without this, the SPCA and investigators wouldn’t be able to follow up.”
Niagara County is one of a few with this registration system. It launched in 2015 and they have 20 people currently on it.
“We do have some individuals who go around it and move to other counties where they can have animals.”
And that’s why Lewis and other animal advocates are pushing for the state legislature to pass a bill which would create a statewide database. If passed, investigators could follow up and check in on convicted animal abusers no matter where they live in New York. If they’re found in violation of orders barring them from owning animals, they could spend up to a year in jail.
Lewis says she thinks this is important and she wants to be a voice for the innocent animals who have been victims of abuse and neglect.
“This does happen. There are people capable of doing this and it’s our job to stop it and prevent it from happening.”
Many animals who are abuse and neglect victims are available for adoption through the Niagara County SPCA. Click here to learn more