Bill A 5449, a bill that would have terrible consequences for shelter animals in New York, is currently sitting in the Assembly Codes Committee. Fortunately, it is temporarily stalled (thanks to Codes Committee Chair Lentol), but now we need your help to stop it completely. We must urge Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resist any calls to get the bill moved or reported out of the Codes Committee in the future. The bill must be stopped in its tracks and go no further in the Assembly. Animal lives are at stake.
If passed, Bill A 5449 would:
Allow for the euthanizing of a frightened or panicked animal on the basis of “psychological pain,” which is too vague and subjective to be a meaningful criterion for euthanasia.
Allow animals to be euthanized for unspecified and undiagnosed “deadly and contagious” diseases. Such decisions should only be allowed in the case of defined diseases such as parvo or distemper that have been diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian or vet tech, and then only when a rescue group is not available to remove the animal from the shelter environment for treatment. Too often, shelter animals are killed because they contract transient or treatable conditions while in the shelter.
Not clearly define the requirements for a rescue organization to be maintained on a shelter’s registry of approved rescue organizations, which opens the door for arbitrary requirements subject to change without notice.
Allow shelters to remove rescues from their registry of approved groups if a group is publicly critical of the shelter or its staff, regardless of the merit of such criticism.
Remove all protection for an animal surrendered to a shelter with an owner request that the animal be euthanized, even if the animal is healthy and could be placed in a new adoptive home or with a rescue group.
Not require shelters to include rescue organizations located in adjoining counties in New York state on the shelter’s registry of qualified rescue organizations.
Please send a letter to Speaker Silver urging him to leave bill A 5449 in the Codes Committee. It must not move forward. Speak up for the animals, and let your voice be heard.