New York Lawmaker Seeks To Save Shelter Animals With New Bill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — State Assembly Member Micah Kellner is proposing a bill in the hopes of saving thousands of animals in shelters across New York from being euthanized.

Under current state law, shelters are only allowed to adopt dogs and cats out to individuals. Rescue groups are typically turned away and denied access to the shelters.

“How we get around this is we adopt it to the person coming from the rescue group and this allows shelters to have a great amount of power,” Kellner said.

The Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act would let these groups adopt animals that are scheduled to be euthanized from shelters, humane societies or pounds.

“There are tens of thousands animals in New York State shelters waiting to be adopted and most are healthy, well-behaved, and just in need of a loving home,” Kellner said.  “When a humane organization volunteers to take these animals, they should not be denied.”

California passed a similar law in 1998 which allowed animal rescue and adoption organizations request possession of an animal prior to its killing. Last year, Delaware passed a law that seeks to find sheltered animals homes rather than euthanize them.

“What this bill does is create minimum standards for rescue organizations and humane organizations to recover animals that would otherwise be destroyed by a local shelter,” Kellner said.

The bill would not only guarantee rescue groups access to shelters but it would also ensure that the animals receive proper care – including fresh food and water on a daily basis, clean living environments, exercise and veterinary care.

Routine inspections would be mandated under the bill.

In addition, the legislation would extend whistleblower protections to rescue groups who have frequently been denied access to shelters for speaking out against abuse or mismanagement or animals.

Organizations such as No Kill Advocacy Center, Alley Cat Allies and Best Friends Animal Society support the bill.

What do you think of the proposal? Let us know below

  • Tamber

    This is the perfect way to break down this ifnormaoitn.

  • Toshya Noonan

    I love it. We need it and the animals need it. Long overdue……hurry up to pass this.

  • MVPR

    Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful! Please pass this law! Its long over due and needed all across the country!! Awareness is key and people across the US need to know the truth about their local and distant so called “shelters” Its vile and inhumaine what goes on behind some “shelter” doors.
    Spay & Neuter your pets!!! Dont shop, ADOPT!!

  • Amanda C

    Thank you lawmaker for thinking about these animals. My ” topaz ” was a shelter dog, and we had an inseperable bond. She was so greatful and always wanted to please. When I started a family, she became my son’s pillow, friend, and protector. Something needs to happen. Everyone needs a “topaz” in their life and only some time to find him/her. Thank you

  • jacquie

    I’m with Rodin . Contact your assemblman and voice your support. Get this bill passed. It’s a step towards saving lives. That is what we are all about.

  • Katherine McGill

    Doesn’t NY also have a Bill in the works for a 20% surcharge on all pet sales (10% for s/n programs, 7% for wildlife rehabilitation…) Gas has surcharges for our roads, gun sales raise over $300 million a year for promoting hunting… why not make commercial sellers & buyers of animals chip in to help shelters?

    I believe this is thru a Chapter of League of Humane Voters in NY, of which all pro-animal people should belong and contribute in their state, and Anti-animal people do so; we don’t. THAT is why our animal laws still suck. It’s time to get Political ourselves, or fall behind another decade.

  • Daniellle

    Wasn’t this what Oreo’s Law was that got killed by the ASPCA last year, just like they killed Oreo? This is great that it’s trying to be passed again but too bad that it’s not named after Oreo.

  • kendra

    yes we sure do need alot more of that going on cause its getting out of hand these days and we need more usage of the spay neuter program in new york and around the entire us of a.cause some people do have a trmendous amount of animals that they can,t take care of or want to take care of.and really need to make it a felony.if they don,t take care of them animals the right way.

  • Lisa

    This piece of legislation is a great start but we need more. We need strict licensing of breeders to stop puppy mills and backyard breeders. We need mandatory spray/neutering of all adopted pets with fines for non-compliance and we need to outlaw pet stores that sell cats and dogs. New York has been in the forefront of so much progressive thinking and legislation (smoking, transfat, soda), we need to start being in the forefront of protecting our animals. Not only would this help our overcrowded shelters and the horror of euthenasia but would serve as a model for the rest of the country.

    • zp

      Unfortunately, mandatory spay/neutering is NOT recommended if you’re aiming for NO KILL! This has proven to be a mjajor source of pet abandonment in places where it has been adopted. More animals wind up in shelters because poor or negligent owners do not have them fixed…and that’s the last thing you want to see. What does work is mandatory s/n before an animal leaves the shelter or low-cost fees that would make it appealing to those who would not be able to afford it.

      • Lisa

        I agree – as long as the pet is spayed or neutered at adoption. We need to prevent overpopulation AND bring our shelters to NO KILL.

    • Kristi

      You are so right. If the mill breeding is the cruelest form of animal abuse. Until they stop people from purchasing on line and in pet stores the shelters will continue to be flooded with dogs. NY has the second highest mill dog, Fla. number one. This does not include emills. Internet sales ar huge. Parks are full of those crazy designer muts and french bull dogs, so sad.

  • Rodin

    CONTACT YOUR STATE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS and ask for their support of Micah Kellner’s Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act. Mouthing off to CBS New York will get you nowhere. Ask your friends to join in as well.

    Here’s a link to the NY State Assembly members and their contacts:

  • Val

    This is so necessary. There is no excuse for mass killing of animals. That fact that so many dogs and cats would be able to find loving homes instead of the business end of a needle is why this bill must be made into a realty. Why would anyone not want this to pass? If the shelters are against it, the workers must be replaced with compassionate people rather than indifferent ones.

  • Vickie Gaffney

    This bill would offer a new hope to the animals that are trapped in kill shelters. It would open the doors for rescues to do their job and help get them homes. Too many are being euthanized. I have a great addition to the bill, a law that requires a person who owns a cat or dog to spay/neuter their pet withing the first year of ownership or register the pet as a breeder and pay a fee for keeping them. That fee could help offset the cost of the care of the animals in our shelters and hopefully the whole thing would reduce the number of pets ending up in shelters.

  • zp

    Long overdue! The on-going killing of animals in NYC ACC is unconscionable! No end, no solulions in sight! A total failure in leadership, vision, commitment to saving these precious lives.

  • Melissa

    The humane establishment accepts killing as a solution because most are being funded by city and counties to kill for them. At least that is the case in Houston. So of course they don’t want to speak out against euthenasia… it’s big business and big money for them. These larger organizations care more about their paychecks than they do about the animals.

    • Rodin

      Euthanasia is a euphemism, a nicer, less offensive, PC way to say something nasty. Euthanasia is by definition “MERCY” killing and applies to the terminally ill or irrecoverably injured.

      What is done to animals in shelters is plain and simple killing, the permanent solution, applied to Jews in Nazi Germany and to so many others in so many other places throughout history. THERE IS NO ‘MERCY’ HERE!

      Perhaps if we started calling it by its real names, KILLING, DESTROYING. our attitudes would change.

      “The human race had yet to render itself extinct; perhaps the animals were just a dry run. Once you believed animals were insensate things, disposable, of utilitarian value only, it wasn’t hard to move on to people.”
      ~ NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER, American novelist and poet, from THE BESTIARY

  • Ciookie

    TaurusBaby, you are absolutely right. Pet ownership includes being responsible for ALL of our pets needs, including spaying and neutering. Anyone who doesn’t have their pet spayed or neutered should be forced to work in a pet crematorium so they can see first hand what happens.

  • Rugbyball

    @TaurusBaby, requiring sterilization is a good idea, and they can raise money buy making those who want to breed the animal to buy a breeding license. Otherwise all pets from shelters, breeders or puppy mill stores must sterilize the animal on adoption/purchase.

  • Rodin

    “It’s not that no-kill is a better way; it’s that stopping the killing is the only way.

    “As long as the humane establishment accepts killing as a solution, there will never be a solution. And the sooner they take killing off the table, once and for all, the sooner the shelters will adopt the real solutions.

    “And the sooner we take killing off the table as a means to relating to people whom we don’t like, the sooner we’ll bring an end to war
    as a way of bringing about peace.”

    President, Best Friends Animal Society

  • TaurusBaby

    It’s about time someone is doing something about this. Too many times, animals slip through the cracks and fall by the wayside, resulting in thousands of these animals being put down. Now I wish they would pass a law that requires everyone that owns an animal has to have it fixed and maybe the shelters wouldn’t be this full. Bravo to this lawmaker.

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