Saturday, February 18, 2012

Here we go again. Sheldon Silver can overrule the chair of the Codes Committee on A05449

NOTE: You can email this post to a friend by clicking on the envelope icon at the very bottom!

Here we go again. It's not over yet. Sheldon Silver has the power to overrule the chairperson of the Codes Committee who halted progress on NY Assembly Bill A05449.

Here is the actual bill again. Do a "find" (control+F) for "psychological" and "redemption period" to find the pertinent passages.

You can use the email link below (and edit your input if you wish) or you can email or write a direct letter. Letters and faxes are great--they are physical. However please also email in some manner to get the message out ASAP. Please distribute this to CAT OWNERS not just rescuers. Cat owners deserve to know that this bill would permit a shelter to kill scared/aggressive or even just terrified/huddled cats on intake. Many cats that appear feral on intake turn out to be pet-friendly in a few days. And many so-called feral cats are owned spay/neutered porch or barn cats. How would your cat act on intake if she were lost for weeks, then trapped, transported, and placed on the floor of a loud shelter to be evaluated?

You can go to Nathan Winograd's auto-mailer, here. You can edit your input and I suggest you do.

Here is the link to Sheldon Silver's own page. I think this probably is a better route if you wish to be seen as an individual voter and not part of the animal welfare machine.

Please also consider printing out your comments and sending as a postal mailed letter.

My concerns:

a) permitting animals to be killed before the 5-day holding period is up, for "psychological trauma." The very act of being lost, captured, and housed in a shelter is emotionally overwhelming to many house cats. Many "feral-acting" cats are lost pets, or are outdoor cats or barn cats that have been spay/neutered at considerable cost to landowners.

b) the section requiring a description or photo of the pet to be available to the public specifically omits these pets by requiring this only "when practical" and "at least during the redemption period." There is no redemption period for a pet killed on intake. Will it be considered "practical" for there to be photos and descriptions of killed pets for the public to view? I'll bet not.

c) this will erode the trust the public as in shelters. Right now they can count on their pet having five days at the shelter for the pet owner to find their pet. However now they will never know if perhaps their scared or headstrong cat was killed before the owner got to the shelter two days later. People who spay/neuter feral cats will now hound their shelter as soon as a cat disappears, instead of calmly and rationally checking the shelter's new cats, out of fear that their missing cats came in and were killed. This section will destroy the partnership between shelters and the community.

In my own personal opinion, one of the back-door purposes of this "psychological trauma" statement, is simply to reduce the work on shelters, to reduce the support for shelter TNR programs (why alter a cat you can kill instead?), and to enable intially hard-to-handle cats to be killed on the front end, so they do not have to be killed later when space becomes limited. If a shelter kills for space after a pet is put up for adoption, they are not seen as "no kill."

I don't think shelter staff would have thought to ask for this "permission." But absolutely there are shelters that would use it if they felt overwhelmed.

We need to be doing MORE for our shelters, and this is not MORE. This destroys the public trust in our shelters. Even a shelter that chooses to keep every pet for 5 days would be regarded with suspicion because the option is there.

I look forward to a "no kill" future, but if shelters are not at that point (and most of them are not), we should not be passing shifty legislation to help make "no kill" supposedly come true...while killing more pets. This permission to kill cats up front will catch a lot of cats that would be adoptable if held for five days. By using this excuse to kill cats, a shelter can look like they are doing a better job of live-release, when in fact they aren't.

Please email and/or write Sheldon Silver immediately.

Thank you again!


  1. What is the need to drive this through despite the obvious outcry? Why are they working SO HARD to overrule the concerns of the people?

    Something unwholesome is behind this...

  2. I don't know that Sheldon Silver plans to override the chairperson's decision to force this to the floor, but he has the power to. Let's hope he sees the flaws as well.