New York has made stealing a pet a much more expensive crime. 

The new law in effect sets the maximum fine at $1,000.  It had been just a $200 fine since 1970.  In addition to stealing pets, its a crime under the law to remove a collar or ID from a dog without the owner's permission.  Also prohibited is seizing an animal under its owner's control or to transport a pet without authorization in order to sell or kill it.

Central New York SPCA says the increase in the fine is long overdue, and hopes it will stem the tide of pet thefts.  They say they have even been victim to people walking out with pets that don't belong to them.