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People who steal a family pet in New York State could soon be sent to prison.

A bill under consideration by state lawmakers that would send someone convicted of stealing a pet, including any mutts or stray cats that are found in a home to prison for up to four years for felony grand larceny.

Sponsors of the bill say the punishment for the crime - now a misdemeanor - must be toughened, because pets are like family members to many people.

The bill was passed by the senate this past Wednesday, it's headed to the Assembly for approval next. 

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