MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A public hearing was held in Mineola on the importance of tougher laws for those who abuse animals.

Nancy Nunez told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall that it upsets her when a person is convicted of abusing or killing an animal and then gets a slap on the wrist as punishment.

“It really affects my soul when I see or hear of someone injuring or abusing or killing an animal,” she said.

Nunez was part of the discussion at the Mineola library with Rep. Kathleen Rice. She said she’s for the PAWS Act, which would extend federal domestic violence protections to include pets of abuse victims.

“I’m ashamed that New York is so far behind. All of our animal cruelty laws are still in the agriculture and markets law and not under the penal law,” Rep. Rice said.

Rice said that is something that needs to change.