Senate Passes Legislation in Honor of Animal Protection Week

The New York State Senate commemorated Animal Protection Week by passing legislation to further protect animal welfare and strengthen rules around the sale and treatment of pets. According to the Senate Majority, the legislative package continues the Senate's efforts to elevate the humane treatment and well-being of those who can’t advocate for themselves and builds on the Senate’s longstanding legacy of extending dignity and compassion to all throughout New York State. The proposed legislation includes provisions that: prohibit the sale of disabled Equidae; restrict animal devocalization to instances of medical necessity; require the prompt inspection of abandoned properties for abandoned animals; clarify the law on aggravated cruelty towards animals; enact “Tucker’s Law” and expand and strengthen the sale of exotic animals ban.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “We as a society are often measured by the way we help those who cannot help themselves. That includes pets and animals, who are too often subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of people. With this legislation, we are taking timely steps to clarify existing laws and expand protections to shield animals from abuse, and prevent bad actors from inflicting it in the first place. I am very proud of the examples we are setting for animal welfare, and greatly thank the bill sponsors for keeping the best interests of all New York’s creatures in mind.”

Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Michelle Hinchey, said, “Animal neglect has no place in our society, and I’m proud that my bill requiring homes to be inspected for abandoned animals within three days of a tenant’s departure passed the Senate during National Pet Week alongside a comprehensive package of legislation to protect the well-being of companion animals. I’m honored to stand up for the needs of vulnerable animals and join my colleagues in creating a safer New York for all pets.”

Read the Senate Majority Press Release.

Legislative Components Read More

Increasing Fines for Selling Disabled Equidae: S1677, sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo would prohibit the sale of disabled horses at auctions and expand the protection to donkeys and mules.  

Restricting the Devocalization of Cats and Dogs: S142, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris would restrict the practice of surgical devocalization procedures on dogs and cats to medical necessity.

Abandoned Animals Property Inspection: S6365, sponsored by Senator Michelle Hinchey would require that any landlords or lessors inspect the property for any abandoned animals within three days of a property being vacated and notify the proper authorities. 

Clarifies the Felony for Aggravated Cruelty to Animals: S761, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, eliminates the word “serious” from the “serious physical injury” language of the Agriculture and Markets law, in relation to aggravated cruelty to animals to ensure that someone attempting to physically harm an animal is appropriately penalized even if the assault is not successful and the animal makes a full recovery.

Enacting Tucker’s Law: S5325, sponsored by Senator Monica Martinez enacts "Tucker's law" which removes the provision that provides that any term of imprisonment for a violation of aggravated cruelty to animals may not exceed two years.

Exotic Animal Sale Ban: S6211, sponsored by Senator Monica Martinez provides that "wild animal" means indigenous, non-domesticated animals native to the country in which they live, and "exotic animal" means a wild animal with an origin of a different continent. It would also add certain wild or exotic animals to the list of non-companion animals and would prohibit such animals from being imported, sold, or owned.

Member/Sponsor Support Read More

Bill Sponsor Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “We must be the voice for animals who cannot speak for themselves and fight back against a violent procedure meant to convenience humans at great pain to their companions. I am pleased the State Senate passed my legislation to ban devocalization and will continue fighting for the animals who enrich our lives every day.” 

Bill Sponsor Senator Joseph Addabbo said, “As Chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, I am proud to join my colleagues in advancing a legislative package improving animal welfare statewide, including legislation (S.1677) I sponsor to expand the current law prohibiting the sale of disabled horses, to include mules and donkeys, as well as increasing the fee from $500 to $1000, which has been in effect since 1965. I remain committed to addressing the rights and protections of animals throughout New York.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Liz Krueger said, “Our society can be judged in part by the way we treat the animals in our care. It's just common sense that if you set out to cause extreme physical pain to an animal, that counts as 'cruelty,' and you should get more than a slap on the wrist. I thank my colleagues for passing this bill today, and standing up for the needs of vulnerable animals."

Bill Sponsor Senator Monica Martinez said, “As Mahatma Ghandi once said, ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ We have a moral obligation to care for dogs, cats, and other non-human animals who have no voice of their own against cruelty. I applaud the Senate Democratic Majority for this year’s  animal welfare package.  We are sending a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our state. I commend my colleagues for their leadership on this important issue and I look forward to continuing our work to protect all animals from harm.”

Advocate Support Read More

Libby Post, Executive Director, NYS Animal Protection Federation said, “The Federation has worked hand in hand with the Senate Majority to advance pro-active animal welfare bills such as the Puppy Mill Pipeline and Companion Animal Care Standards Act. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate on advancing pro-active and meaningful companion animal welfare legislation like the package of legislation being passed today and applaud them for continuing to lead on this issue.”

Bill Ketzer, ASPCA's Senior Director of State Legislation, Eastern Division said, “From providing capital resources for animal shelters statewide, to ending the scourge of puppy mill sales in New York, to ending breed discrimination and helping improve the way our animal cruelty laws are enforced, the ASPCA is so grateful for the senate’s ongoing commitment to tackling some of the most pressing and difficult issues in animal welfare. We look forward to continuing our work with animal champions in the legislature to protect those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said,“ The animal protection bills passed and supported by the NY Senate this week will create safer and more humane communities for both people and animals across the state. Animal protection legislation has come such a long way, and the Senate has played a key role in advancing these bills over the past five years. The HSUS applauds the Senate for focusing on meaningful animal welfare issues this session."

Senators Involved