senate Bill S7401A

Relates to the seizure of animals

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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  • 14 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 7401A

Summary

Relates to the seizure of animals.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9807A
Versions:
S7401
S7401A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Agriculture
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง373, Ag & Mkts L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7401A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to the seizure of animals

PURPOSE: This bill provides greater protections to animals in the
custody or control of persons charged with animal abuse.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 373 of the agriculture and markets law to
provide greater protections to animals in the custody or control of
persons charged with animal abuse.

First, this section provides that where any animal is seized from a
person based on charges of animal abuse, the police officer, agent, or
officer may take possession of any other animals in the custody or
control of the person from whom the animal is seized. The person from
whom such animals are seized may petition the court for the return of
the seized animals. A hearing on such petition must be held within ten
business days of such petition.

Second, this section provides that where any animal is seized and
impounded pursuant to the provisions of this section, the duly
incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane
society, pound, animal shelter, or any authorized agents thereof may
file a petition with the court requesting that the person from whom an
animal is seized be ordered to post a security. The security shall be
an amount sufficient to pay for all reasonable expenses incurred since
the date of seizure for all of the animals seized.

Lastly, this section provides that upon application to the court,
until a final determination of the charges is made, any law
enforcement officer, officer of a duly incorporated society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals, or its authorized agents, shall be
authorized to make sporadic, unannounced visits to where the animal is
being kept to ascertain if the animal is receiving the necessary care.

Section 2 states that this act shall take effect immediately, and
shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after
March 18, 2014.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill provides greater protections to animals in
the custody or control of persons charged with animal abuse. First,
this bill provides that where a police officer, agent, or officer has
a warrant to seize one animal from a person based upon animal abuse,
they can also take possession of any other animals in the custody or
control of the person from whom the original animal was seized. This
is an important provision to protect other animals that are in the
custody or control of an alleged animal abuser from also being abused.
This bill also provides an opportunity for the animal owner to
petition the court for the return of these animals if he or she can
show by a preponderance of the evidence that there was no probable
cause for the seizure of such animal.

Second, this bill makes important changes for how the duly
incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane


society, pound, animal shelter, or any authorized agent thereof may
get reimbursed for the shelter and care of seized and impounded
animals. Under this bill, the security amount shall be sufficient to
secure payment for all reasonable expenses incurred since the date of
seizure and shall be paid for all of the animals seized pending
disposition of the charges.

Lastly, where a person is charged with animal abuse without the
removal of the animal from its existing location, this bill changes
how a law enforcement officer, officer of a duly incorporated society
for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or its authorized agents may
make visits to where the animal is being kept to ensure it is
receiving proper care. Under current law, the officer must make
regular, announced visits. This bill would change this to allow
officers to make sporadic, unannounced visits to check on the well
being of these animals. By authorizing officers to make unannounced
visits, they will be able to ascertain whether the animal is being
maltreated without giving advanced notice to the animal's owner.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, and shall be
deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after March 18,
2014.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 7401--A

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 14, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  agriculture and markets law, in relation to the
  seizure of animals

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 373 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by
chapter  545  of the laws of 1971, subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 as amended by
chapter 79 of the laws of 1997, subdivision 1-a as added by chapter  811
of the laws of 1981, subdivision 5 as amended by section 23 and subpara-
graph 2 of paragraph b of subdivision 6 as amended by section 24 of part
T  of chapter 59 of the laws of 2010, subdivisions 6 and 7 as amended by
chapter 256 of the laws of 1997 and paragraph a and  subparagraph  1  of
paragraph  b  of  subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 531 of the laws of
2013, is amended to read as follows:
  S 373. Seizure  of  animals  lost,  strayed,  homeless,  abandoned  or
improperly  confined  or kept. 1. Any police officer or agent or officer
of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or  any
duly  incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, may
lawfully take possession of any lost,  strayed,  homeless  or  abandoned
animal found in any street, road or other public place.
  1-a.  Any  police officer in Lewis county may lawfully take possession
of any lost, strayed, homeless or abandoned domestic animal, as  defined
in  section one hundred eight of this chapter, found in any street, road
or other public place.
  2. Any such police officer or agent or officer may also lawfully  take
possession  of  any  animal in or upon any premises other than a street,
road or other public place, which (A) for more  than  twelve  successive
hours  has  been confined or kept in a crowded or unhealthy condition or
in unhealthful or unsanitary surroundings or (B) HAS not  BEEN  properly
cared  for,  INCLUDING,  BUT  NOT  LIMITED TO THE PROVISION OF NECESSARY
SHELTER, VETERINARY, FARRIER AND OTHER SPECIES- OR BREED-SPECIFIC  CARE;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15024-05-4

S. 7401--A                          2

or  [without]  (C)  FOR  MORE  THAN TWELVE SUCCESSIVE HOURS HAS NOT BEEN
PROVIDED WITH necessary sustenance,  food  or  drink,  provided  that  a
complaint  stating  just  and  reasonable  grounds is made under oath or
affirmation  to  any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal
cases, and that such warrant authorizing entry and search is issued  and
delivered by such magistrate; if just and reasonable cause is shown, the
magistrate  shall  immediately issue such warrant.  FURTHER, THE WARRANT
SHALL PROVIDE THAT, WHERE ANY ANIMAL IS SEIZED FROM A PERSON BASED  UPON
NONCOMPLIANCE  WITH THE STANDARDS OF CARE SET FORTH IN THIS SUBDIVISION,
THE POLICE OFFICER, AGENT OR OFFICER MAY TAKE POSSESSION  OF  ANY  OTHER
ANIMAL OR ANIMALS IN THE CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF SUCH PERSON FROM WHOM THE
ANIMAL  IS  SEIZED.  THE PERSON FROM WHOM ANIMALS ARE SEIZED PURSUANT TO
THIS SUBDIVISION MAY PETITION THE  COURT,  UPON  SEIZURE,  OR  WITHIN  A
REASONABLE  TIME  THEREAFTER,  FOR  A  RETURN  OF  THE  SEIZED ANIMAL OR
ANIMALS. A HEARING ON SUCH PETITION SHALL BE CONDUCTED WITHIN TEN  BUSI-
NESS  DAYS  OF  SUCH  PETITION.  THE PETITIONER SHALL HAVE THE BURDEN OF
PROVING BY A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE THAT THERE  WAS  NO  PROBABLE
CAUSE  FOR THE SEIZURE OF SUCH ANIMAL OR ANIMALS SEIZED PURSUANT TO THIS
SUBDIVISION. NO ANIMAL OR ANIMALS SEIZED PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SUBDIVISION
MAY  BE  RETURNED TO THE OWNER OR PERSON FROM WHOM THE ANIMAL OR ANIMALS
WERE SEIZED UNTIL SUCH HEARING HAS BEEN CONDUCTED.
  3. Any such police officer or agent or officer may also lawfully  take
possession  of  any  unwanted  animal  from  the person in possession or
custody thereof.
  4. When any person arrested is, at the time of such arrest, in  charge
of  any  animal or of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal, any
agent or officer of said society or societies or any police officer  may
take  charge  of  such  animal and of such vehicle and its contents, and
deposit the same in a safe place or custody, or deliver  the  same  into
the  possession  of the police or sheriff of the county or place wherein
such arrest was made, who shall thereupon assume  the  custody  thereof;
and  all  necessary  expenses incurred in taking charge of such property
shall be a charge thereon.
  5. Nothing herein contained  shall  restrict  the  rights  and  powers
derived  from  section one hundred seventeen of this chapter relating to
seizure of unlicensed dogs and the disposition to be made of animals  so
seized or taken, nor those derived from any other general or special law
relating  to  the seizure or other taking of dogs and other animals by a
society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
  6. a. If any animal is seized and impounded pursuant to the provisions
of this section, section three hundred fifty-three-d of this article  or
section  three hundred seventy-five of this article for any violation of
this article, upon arraignment of charges, or within a  reasonable  time
thereafter,  FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE ANIMALS SEIZED the duly incorporated
society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound,
animal shelter or any authorized agents thereof, hereinafter referred to
for the purposes of this section as the "impounding  organization",  may
file  a  petition with the court requesting that the person from whom an
animal is seized or the owner of the animal be ordered to post a securi-
ty. The district attorney prosecuting the charges may  file  and  obtain
the  requested  relief  on  behalf  of  the  impounding  organization if
requested to do so by the impounding organization.   The security  shall
be in an amount sufficient to secure payment for all reasonable expenses
INCURRED  SINCE  THE  DATE OF SEIZURE AND expected to be incurred by the
impounding organization in caring and providing for [the animal] ALL THE
ANIMALS SEIZED pending disposition of the charges FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE

S. 7401--A                          3

ANIMALS SEIZED. Reasonable expenses shall include, but  not  be  limited
to,  estimated medical care and boarding of the SEIZED animal OR ANIMALS
for at least thirty days. The amount of the security, if any,  shall  be
determined by the court after taking into consideration all of the facts
and  circumstances  of the case including, but not limited to the recom-
mendation of the impounding organization having custody and care of  the
seized  animal  OR  ANIMALS  and  the  cost  of caring for the animal OR
ANIMALS. If a security has been posted in accordance with this  section,
the  impounding  organization  may  draw  from  the  security the actual
reasonable costs to be incurred by such organization in caring  for  the
seized animal OR ANIMALS.
  b.  (1)  Upon  receipt  of  a petition pursuant to paragraph a of this
subdivision the court  shall  set  a  hearing  on  the  petition  to  be
conducted  within  ten business days of the filing of such petition. The
petitioner shall serve a true copy of the petition  upon  the  defendant
and  the  district  attorney  if the district attorney has not filed the
petition on behalf of the petitioner. The petitioner shall also serve  a
true copy of the petition on any interested person. For purposes of this
subdivision,  interested  person  shall mean an individual, partnership,
firm, joint stock company, corporation, association,  trust,  estate  or
other  legal entity who the court determines may have a pecuniary inter-
est in the animal which is the subject of the petition.  The  petitioner
or  the district attorney acting on behalf of the petitioner, shall have
the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the person
from whom the animal was seized violated a provision  of  this  article.
The court may waive for good cause shown the posting of security.
  (2)  If the court orders the posting of a security, the security shall
be posted with the clerk of the court within five business days  of  the
hearing  provided  for  in subparagraph one of this paragraph. The court
may order the immediate forfeiture of the seized animal  OR  ANIMALS  to
the  impounding  organization if the person ordered to post the security
fails to do so.  Any  animal  forfeited  shall  be  made  available  for
adoption  or  euthanized  subject  to subdivision seven-a of section one
hundred seventeen of this chapter or section three hundred  seventy-four
of this article.
  (3)  In the case of an animal other than a companion animal or pet, if
a person ordered to post security fails to do  so,  the  court  may,  in
addition  to  the  forfeiture  to  a  duly  incorporated society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal  shelter
or  any  authorized  agents  thereof, and subject to the restrictions of
sections three hundred fifty-four, three hundred fifty-seven  and  three
hundred  seventy-four  of  this  article, order the animal which was the
basis of the order to be sold,  provided  that  all  interested  persons
shall  first be provided the opportunity to redeem their interest in the
animal and to purchase the interest of the person ordered to post  secu-
rity,  subject  to  such  conditions  as  the court deems appropriate to
assure proper care and treatment of the animal. The court may  reimburse
the person ordered to post security and any interested persons any money
earned  by  the  sale  of  the  animal less any costs including, but not
limited to, veterinary and custodial care. Any animal determined by  the
court  to  be maimed, diseased, disabled or infirm so as to be unfit for
sale or any useful purpose shall be forfeited  to  a  duly  incorporated
society  for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly incorporated
humane society or  authorized  agents  thereof,  and  be  available  for
adoption  or shall be euthanized subject to section three hundred seven-
ty-four of this article.

S. 7401--A                          4

  (4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict in
any way the rights of a secured party having a security interest in  any
animal described in this section. This section expressly does not impair
or  subordinate  the  rights  of such a secured lender having a security
interest in the animal or in the proceeds from the sale of such animal.
  c.  In no event shall the security prevent the impounding organization
having custody and care of the animal OR ANIMALS from disposing  of  the
animal OR ANIMALS pursuant to section three hundred seventy-four of this
article  prior to the expiration of the thirty day period covered by the
security if the court makes a determination of the charges  against  the
person from whom the animal OR ANIMALS was OR WERE seized prior thereto.
Upon  receipt  of a petition from the impounding organization, the court
may order the person from whom the animal OR ANIMALS was OR WERE  seized
or  the  owner  of  the animal OR ANIMALS to post an additional security
with the clerk of the court to secure payment of reasonable expenses for
an additional period of time pending a determination by the court of the
charges against the person from whom the animal OR ANIMALS was  OR  WERE
seized.  The person who posted the security [shall be entitled to a] MAY
MAKE  APPLICATION  TO THE COURT FOR A refund of the security in whole or
part for any expenses not incurred by such impounding organization  upon
adjudication of the charges. The person who posted the security shall be
entitled to a [full] refund of the security, [including reimbursement by
the  impounding  organization  of  any amount allowed by the court to be
expended] SOLELY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE REASONABLE EXPENSES PAID  THERE-
FROM  BY THE IMPOUNDING ORGANIZATION EXCEED THE REASONABLE EXPENSES THAT
WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SEIZURE NOT OCCURRED, and the return of
the animal OR ANIMALS seized and impounded upon acquittal  or  dismissal
of  [the]  ALL  charges, except (A) where the dismissal is based upon an
adjournment in contemplation of dismissal pursuant to section 215.30  of
the  criminal  procedure  law  OR  (B)  WHERE THE PERSON IS CHARGED WITH
VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE CONCERNING MORE THAN ONE ANIMAL, AND IS FOUND
GUILTY, BY PLEA OR OTHERWISE, OF ANY VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE REGARDING
ANY ANIMAL. The court order  directing  such  refund  and  reimbursement
shall  provide  for payment to be made within a reasonable time from the
acquittal or dismissal of charges.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the  contra-
ry,  the  court  may  order  a person charged with any violation of this
article to provide necessary food,  water,  shelter  and  care  for  any
animal  which  is  the  basis  of the charge, without the removal of the
animal from its existing location, until the charges against the  person
are  adjudicated.   [Until] UPON APPLICATION TO THE COURT, UNTIL a final
determination of the charges is made, any law enforcement officer, offi-
cer of a duly incorporated society for  the  prevention  of  cruelty  to
animals,  or  its  authorized  agents,  [may] SHALL be authorized [by an
order of the court] to make [regular] SPORADIC,  UNANNOUNCED  visits  to
where  the  animal is being kept to ascertain if the animal is receiving
necessary [food, water, shelter and] care IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION
TWO OF THIS SECTION. Nothing shall prevent any law enforcement  officer,
officer  of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to
animals, or its authorized agents, from applying for a warrant  pursuant
to  this  section  to  seize any animal being held by the person charged
pending the adjudication of the charges if it  is  determined  that  the
animal  is  not receiving [the] necessary [food, water, shelter or] care
IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION TWO OF  THIS  SECTION.  NOTHING  IN  THIS
SUBDIVISION  SHALL  BE INTERPRETED AS PERMITTING THE RETURN OF AN ANIMAL

S. 7401--A                          5

SEIZED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION WITHOUT A HEARING  AS
REQUIRED UNDER SUCH SUBDIVISION.
  S  2.  This  act shall take effect immediately, and shall be deemed to
have been in full force and effect on and after March 18, 2014.

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