LT: Robert Bushnell, 50 of Berne, was charged with torturing an animal and
dog theft, misdemeanors under state Agriculture and Markets Law, for
shooting two of his neighbor’s dogs. (Skip Dickstein / Times Union) RT:
Mocha, a chocolate Labrador, and Rocky, an Alaskan Malamute, were found shot
to death in the woods in Berne. (Photo provided by Amy Tubbs)
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION + EMAIL BLOCK. Sample letter follows.
Hon. P. David Soares, District Attorney
Office of the Albany County District Attorney
Albany County Judicial Center
6 Lodge Street / Albany, NY 12207
ph: 518-487-5460; fax: 518-487-5093
Heather Streeter Orth: Heather.Orth@albanycounty.com
Berne Town Court
Hon. Kenneth R. Bunzey & Hon. Richard M. Guilz
PO Box 57 / Berne, NY 12023
Questions about Berne: info@BerneNY.org
Patricia M. Favreau, Town Clerk: townclerk@BerneNY.org
James L. Campbell, Sheriff
Craig D. Apple, Undersheriff
Albany County Sheriff’s Department
County Court House / Albany, NY 12207
ph: 518-487-5440, 518-487-5440; fax: 518-487-5037
web contact form:
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ASK FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC): email@example.com
Hon. District Attorney P. David Soares, Hon. Kenneth R. Bunzey & Hon.
Richard M. Guilz, and Sheriff James L. Campbell:
Please accept my comments about Robert Bushnell, 50, of Woodstock Road, who
confessed to police on 9/30/09 that he killed neighbor Amy Tubbs’ two dogs.
Sheriff James Campbell said Bushnell transported Mocha, a 7-year-old
chocolate Labrador retriever, and Rocky, a 5-year-old Alaskan malamute, to
state property where he shot them. He fired two bullets into Rocky and a
single bullet into Mocha. Bushnell claims the dogs had attacked his
chickens, chased livestock, and posed a risk to his children.
I urge you to upgrade Bushnell’s misdemeanor charges for animal torture and
stealing to felony offenses. Under Buster’s Law S 353-a., a person is guilty
of aggravated cruelty to animals if…he or she intentionally kills…a
companion animal…(ii) in an especially depraved or sadistic manner. While
Buster’s Law exempts “animals posing a threat to human safety or other
animals,” it calls for an act of killing to be “legally authorized.”
Shooting two companion dogs at point blank range is “especially depraved.”
Furthermore, Bushnell took the law into his own hands when he killed Rocky
and Mocha without legal consent. In fact, Amy Tubbs had tried to find out
whose chickens her dogs had killed — but Bushnell never gave her the chance
to make amends or better confine her dogs.
I hope you will recognize the gravity of Bushnell’s crime and seek felony
penalties of up to two years in prison. Bushnell ought to be barred from
possessing or living with animals as well.
Officials should be concerned that Bushnell resorted to illegal violence to
solve a problem. Violence against animals is a well-documented precursor to
violence against humans — particularly vulnerable victims such as children,
women or the elderly. Animal cruelty investigations often uncover domestic
violence or other signs of a troubled family, P. Arkow notes in “Breaking
the cycles of violence: A guide to multi-disciplinary interventions.”
The deliberate slaughter of two companion animals qualifies as aggravated
cruelty. Thank you for holding animal abusers accountable for their crimes.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Kinship Circle Member, Ethel Silverberg
Arrest made in Berne dog shooting case
LAWS OF NEW YORK, 1999 / CHAPTER 118 / Buster’s Law
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