Utica, NY (WIBX) - Senator Joseph Griffo says the state Senate will hold a public hearing in Utica next week to examine tougher state actions to curb the alarming rise in animal abuse.

The Senate Standing Committe on Agriculture hearing will take place on Wednesday, May 9th at 2:30 on the 3rd floor of the State Office Building in Utica.

The Committee is charged with reviewing most legislative initiatives dealing with companion animals.

“I am sickened and alarmed at the increase in serious cases of animal abuse and neglect across our region,” Griffo said, referencing the case of a West Utica man who was charged after both dead and emaciated dogs were found in his apartment and the report of a Utica couple faced with neglecting and starving animals (mink). “Anyone who treats a living thing with the kind of callous disregard and downright cruelty that we are forced to witness through media reports about these incidents deserves to face the toughest possible punishments. I think that we all know there are strong links between the abuse of animals and the tendencies to abuse people. Mistreating an animal in such a way to sicken it nearly to death or starve it to death or beat it to death is not a small little incident that should be treated with a slap on the wrist or a small fine.”