ALBANY, N.Y. -- Lawmakers and law enforcement are making a push before the end of session to pass legislation that will train police on how to better handle animal cruelty cases in New York.

"Regardless if we're talking about farm animals or family pets, no animal should be the target of cruel or inhumane abuse," said Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau.

Far too frequently, the innocent and helpless are subjected to neglect and/or cruelty.

"We do come across it quite often and it doesn't matter it happens just as much in an inner city as in a rural area," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

In many cases, officials say law enforcement lack the proper training to help the victims and prosecute the offenders.

"It all boils down to we know that there are laws out there that we can utilize based on culpability," Apple said, "but how do you apply those laws? When do they come into play?"

Animal welfare advocates united Monday at the Capitol to push legislation that would develop better training and education for police, and would make existing laws more readily available in electronic form.

"I think you would also see a rise in a lot of the arrests or summons issued regarding animal cruelty if they could find them and knew how to apply," said Apple.

"They help keep our community safe and that extends to our animals as well," Norton added.

Advocates have until June 17 to pass the legislation before the end of session.