Saturday, February 18, 2012

The bad news and good news on Assembly Bill A5449A

UPDATE: Please go here to this new post for information on reaching out to Sheldon Silver. The bill passed, but was stopped by the chair of the Codes Committee. Sheldon Silver has the authority to over-rule the chair, however.

The bad news: A5449A passed and was moved onto the Codes Committee.

The good news: The Chairperson of the Codes Committee, Joseph Lentol, stopped it cold. He also set up a Facebook page announcing this.

A note regarding NYS Assembly Bill A5449A
by Joseph Lentol on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 5:09pm ·

On Wednesday, February 15th, the NYS Assembly Committee on Agriculture reported this bill to the NYS Assembly Codes Committee. I am the Chairperson of the Codes Committee. I have received many calls and messages from individuals opposed to this legislation.

I am not a sponsor of this bill and have not had any part in its drafting. Those who have voiced their opposition against this bill have raised legitimate questions and I, too, am concerned. Therefore, I do not intend to report this legislation at this time. I believe a great deal more study and work must be done on this issue before legislation can be moved to the floor.

If you are on Facebook, please be sure to stop by at tell him thank-you, as over 500 others have.

This is not over, of course. But at least there is breathing room. And maybe now the many cat advocacy groups can work together to stay updated and involved in this issue.

To those of you who took the time to email your dismay with this legislation, I send a huge "Thank you." It is of extreme concern that this bill made it as far as it did, even after people pointed out that this would destroy the 5-day safety net for lost cats and s/n ferals, as well as frightened dogs. It also ruins the trust the public has in their shelters---even shelters that chose to continue to honor the 5-day holding period.

I know I have focused only on the "psychological trauma" wording, but there are larger problems with this legislation.

That said, something needs to be done to assist shelters. The public insists shelters become "no-kill" which means more and more shelters are turning away stray or owner surrendered cats when they are full. My mother reports her local shelter is now turning away cats. The Tompkins County SPCA has done a great job of adopting themselves into space again for their county and recently put out a call to their county for kittens-in-need. In my county, I still receive calls for help from people who state they have been turned away by our local shelter.

More on this difficult issue later.

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