Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to strengthen penalties for the theft and mistreatment of pets.

The legislation increases the maximum fine for those who attempt to steal, harm or transport a pet that is not their own from $200 to $1,000.

The fine has not increased since 1970.

“For many New Yorkers, a pet can be an extension of their family – which is why pet theft is a particularly heartless offense,” Governor Cuomo said. “Increasing the penalties for stealing or harming dogs, cats and other animals is an important way that we can crack down on this crime, and I thank the bill’s sponsors for their work on this issue.”

The American Kennel Clubs reports there were more than 590 thefts of pets in 2013, a 31-percent increase over the previous year.