Kingston - The Ulster County grand jury that cleared animal abuse
suspect Bruce Van Bramer in August 2006 has recommended sweeping
changes to the state's animal cruelty laws.
In a report issued Thursday, the grand jury proposed a comprehensive
plan to protect house pets that are under the care of self-proclaimed
pet rescue operations.
The report was issued at the request of county District Attorney
Donald A. Williams after the grand jury declined to file criminal
charges against Van Bramer, who was accused of animal cruelty for the
treatment of numerous pets at ZPR Ltd., an operation at Van Bramer's
Lake Katrine home that he and his supporters described as an "animal
The grand jury said it recognized that self-styled animal rescue
facilities serve a need, but the panel also observed there is a need
to ensure the well-being of the animals in the care of such
"The grand jurors noted that they do not wish to discourage private
individuals or organizations from selfless efforts to care for
unwanted animals," Williams said in a prepared statement.