The Federation is focused on supporting legislation that will help animals and support animal welfare organizations in New York State. There are many pieces of legislation introduced in the State Legislature every year and while the Federation might not take a position on every bill, we do focus on those we feel will have the most impact. The Fed was very successful in its efforts during the 2018 legislative session. In addition to the Companion Animal Capital Fund, we passed bills banning the leasing of pet in NYS, enabling local municipalities to shorten the length of stay for unidentified cats that come into shelters, and broadening the residency requirements for peace officers serving the Hudson Valley Humane Society and the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
Our 2019 Legislative Agenda
As the 2019 Legislative Session begins, we are still waiting on final bill numbers for some of the initiatives we are supporting. Please see below for the bills and issue areas we are supporting this session. Check back for bill numbers.
Companion Animal Capital Fund – This budget proposal would provide an additional $5 million in the 2019-2020 State Budget for this program, for a $15 million total since 2017. This measure would also make eligibility broader than in previous years.
Pet Dealer Sales Ban – This bill would prohibit retail sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores, allowing such operations to offer space for shelters and rescues for adoptions.
Prohibition Dog Breed Discrimination in Insurance Policies – This measure would prohibit insurance companies from cancelling, refusing to issue or increasing premiums for owning a specific breed of dog.
Authorize DCOs to Release to Owner Under Certain Conditions – This measure would authorize municipal dog control officers to release an animal directly to an owner (as opposed to impounding as required by state law) if such owner can be identified by municipal tag or microchip.
Animal Cruelty Cross Reporting – This bill would authorize state-mandated reporters of child and elder abuse to also report suspected animal cruelty in the course of their professional duties.
Veterinary Reporting of Suspected Cruelty – This legislation would require veterinarians to report suspected cruelty to police or authorized SPCA humane officers.
Helping Shelters Care for Seized Animals (A5552-Paulin/S3707-Martinez) – This bill would help shelters meet the cost of caring for abused animals seized by law enforcement by allowing them to file a security posting petition in court upon the issuance of an appearance ticket (or reasonable time afterward) as opposed to current law, which only allows filing upon arraignment. Click here to download NYSAPF’s Memo of Support.
Increasing the Protection in the Care of Pet Dealers (A216 (Paulin)/S3828 (Metzger) – Over time it has become more apparent that the companion animals sold by pet dealers come with a special set of circumstances—they might not be well groomed, have parasites such as fleas and diseases such as parvo in puppies. This bill will require pet dealers to regularly groom the animals in their care and to provide enhanced sanitary conditions for their animals including the cleaning of primary enclosures on a daily basis and sanitizing of those enclosures every two weeks. Please click here to download NYSAPF’s Memo of Support.
Lowering the sales threshold for home-based breeders from 25 to 15 A351 (Paulin)/S3830 (Metzger) – This bill would give state regulators better tools to enforce existing pet dealer laws. A.351/S.3830 is a companion bill to the legislation signed by Governor Cuomo in January 2014 that allows local governments to regulate pet dealers above and beyond the state standards of care for such operations. A lower sales threshold of 15 will enable local governments to more effectively protect dogs by bringing disreputable breeders to justice. Click here to download NYSAPF’s Memo of Support.