Mad in New York!

kittensNovember 8, 2009

I live in New York and I'm absolutely outraged to find out how inadequate our animal rights laws are here. I have never honestly been a vocal advocate for animal rights. It was a subject I avoided because I find the abuse and mistreatment of animals extremely disturbing. I just assumed that when a situation arose, you reported it and it was taken care of. That is not the case. Both the state agencies and animal agencies parrot either the restrictions of the laws or under-staffing in their offices for not being able to do their jobs. It's nearly impossible to meet the requirements needed to curtail abuse.

I'm very new to this. Is the reason why our laws are so severely lacking because of the inability to change them? How does the process work?

There is currently an Assembly Bill A07285(b) in motion which isn't 100% supported. It effects Puppy Mills and would limit the number of breeder animals (both cats and dogs) one owns to 50. I do believe that 50 is still excessive but currently they have NO limits so at least it's a small step in the right direction. I was shocked to read pet dealers/breeders in NY can (AND DO) own 1,000 animals or more. What is the probability that these bills even make it to the floor? Is there a way to help get it there?

The Assembly Summary:

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The real problem is not lack of laws, but lack of funding for enforcement.

Passing more laws is actually counterproductive, as the new laws require more time/manpower for a system already behind due to lack of funding/manpower.

The best way to get involved is to get more people invloved in reporting abusive people and breeders.

That is better---but more difficult---than passing unenforceable laws.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 9:52AM
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I agree the funding is low. However, why aren't the laws written to increase penalties, thereby increasing revenue? I believe the violators should help to support the policing system. How do other states manage to enforce these laws? It's getting done somehow.

One example is our pet lemon law. The victim is entitled to a refund up to the purchase price of the animal. Why shouldn't the seller be imposed an automatic additional fine for each violation paid directly to the state? If they are just returning the money received for the pet (on virtually free inventory), and only if they get caught, where is the incentive to sell a healthy pet?

People don't readily report the abuse and it causes substantial problems. In some ways it could be seen that the pet lemon law discourages many from doing so. The victim, after dealing with the stress of a sick/dead pet, now has to jump through numerous legal hoops to have a few hundred dollars returned. Not everyone finds its worth the time and additional stress. If the agencies don't receive enough complaints (within a set period of time, no less) they seem to be paralyzed to help. Isn't this instilling to the perpetrators that they can get away with what they are doing? If a complaint or two comes in about them, they know nothing is going to be done.

I really liked the above bill because at least it reduced the amount of animals the inspectors have to inspect. Having 50 animals that have never been vetted is better than 1000. The inspectors are supposed to provide the opportunity to correct the violations and then go back to reinspect. If nothing more, it seems like a time-saver. I don't understand why this would be an unenforceable law but you are not the first to mention it. I was also told that it doesn't have much chance of passing this year :(

Here is a link that might be useful: NYS Pet Lemon Law

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 4:46PM
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