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Tell assembly members to Vote NO on flawed Assembly Bill A05449A, vote YES on A07312: sample letter

February 13, 2012
by

BACKGROUND

Dear advocates for NY shelter reform,

The time is now! The vote in the AG Committee is on Wednesday so do this today! Lets flood their inboxes, bombard them with emails and phone calls! Anyone, everyone, and especially NYS residents, who care about the fate of all the animals suffering and dying in our shelters, no matter where you live, must take immediate action!

I just called the Chairman’s office, William Magee, and spoke with his secretary indicating to her why the sham Paulin Bill, 5449A must not be passed and why CAARA, 7312A should be passed instead. Talking points and additional phone numbers are below! In addition, I’m sending a personal message to the Ag Committee members,(block of email addresses below), although I have already sent the automated message which was supplied to us by Nathan Winograd. A personal message and call is always viewed as more effective. One personal call = 10 email messages! We must be united and act on this NOW! We must let the ASPCA, Assembly Member Amy Paulin, and the members of the Agriculture Committee know that this is not acceptable. The fate of tens of thousands of animals every year hang in the balance.The American Society for the Promotion of Cruelty to Animals has marshalled its forces, its lobbyists, its lawyers, we need to show them that the voice of those who speak for the animals, and not special interests, is stronger!

Zelda

Use the Sample Letter (courtesy Nathan Winograd) below, or compose your own using the following talking points; talking points can be used during telephone calls as well.


TALKING POINTS

The ASPCA/Paulin bill seeks to undermine support for true shelter reform and true shelter access, it will eliminate the holding period for shy dogs, scared animals, and all feral cats in New York State by giving shelters the power to kill animals they consider to be in psychological pain immediately (term psychological pain lacks any objective standards of determination).

Will give shelters virtually unlimited power to decide which animals are subject to rescue and which rescue groups they want to work with. Not only would this continue the current practice, giving the stamp of legislative legitimacy to killing despite a rescue alternative, it would make it more difficult for rescuers to seek real legislative reform in the future.

The bill specifically says shelters do not have to work with rescue groups outside of their county, even when those organizations have the ability, capacity, and desire to save lives. This allows shelters in rural communities to avoid working with the extensive rescue group network of New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, where homes are in greater abundance. It also allows shelters to avoid working with rescue groups and No Kill shelters in neighboring suburbs or counties.

Moreover, they do not have to work with any rescue groups. The bill specifically says that shelters may give animals to rescue groups rather than kill them, instead of shall give the animals to them.

It gives them unlimited authority to determine whether a rescue group or particular animal qualifies. If shelter staff believes the rescue group is unfairly critical of the shelter, they can deem that rescue group abusive under this law and prevent them from rescuing animals.

The bill gives shelters the authority to refuse working with rescue groups if they determine those groups are hostile toward the shelters, effectively eviscerating any whistleblower protections and conditioning rescue access on silence as to inhumane conditions which may exist in that particular shelter.

Why YES on CAARA Assembly Bill A07312

CAARA prevents needless animal suffering by mandating precise, sensible, and objective criteria for determining which animals are irremediably suffering and therefore exempt from rescue access provisions.

CAARA ensures public safety by mandating precise criteria for determining which dogs are dangerous or aggressive and therefore exempt from rescue access.

CAARA empowers non-profit animal rescue organizations to fulfill their missions, a right often denied to them by larger non-profit organizations and shelters.

CAARA provides whistleblower protection for rescue groups, creating an incentive for non-profit organizations to help end cruelty or neglect at shelters without fear of retaliation and loss of rescue access.

Under CAARA, the shelter would not be able to kill a puppy if a rescue group offered to save him unless:

  • The puppy was irremediably suffering and the prognosis for rehabilitation was poor or grave.
  • The rescue group had a volunteer, staff, or board member who has charges of animal neglect, cruelty, or dog fighting pending against them or a conviction for neglect, cruelty, or dog fighting.
  • The rescue group failed an inspection that was conducted in a timely manner with objective criteria for failing.



WHOM TO CONTACT

Email block:

amedoreg@assembly.state.ny.us;benedettom@assembly.state.ny.us;
blankenbushk@assembly.state.ny.us;bronsonh@assembly.state.ny.us;
butlerm@assembly.state.ny.us;crouchc@assembly.state.ny.us;
finchg@assembly.state.ny.us;gunthera@assembly.state.ny.us;
hawleys@assembly.state.ny.us;liftonb@assembly.state.ny.us;
lopezp@assembly.state.ny.us;maisela@assembly.state.ny.us;
markeym@assembly.state.ny.us;mcenenyj@assembly.state.ny.us;
moyaf@assembly.state.ny.us;reillyr@assembly.state.ny.us;
riveraj@assembly.state.ny.us;riverap@assembly.state.ny.us;
rosenthall@assembly.state.ny.us;russella@assembly.state.ny.us;
simanowitzm@assembly.state.ny.us; mageew@assembly.state.ny.us

Telephone numbers for AG Committee members:

William Magee, Chairman Agriculture Committee 518-455-4807
George Amedore 518-455-5197
Michael Benedetto 518-455-5296
Ken Blankenbush 518-455-5797
Harry Bronson 518-455-4527
Marc Butler 518-455-5393
Clifford Crouch 518-455-5741
Gary Finch 518-455-5878
Aileen Gunther 518-455-5355
Stephen Hawley 518-455-5811
Barbara Lifton 518-455-5444
Peter Lopez 518-455-5363
Alan Maisel 518-455-5211
Margaret Markey 518-455-4755
John McEneny 518-455-4178
Francisco Moya 518-455-4567
Bob Reilly 518-455-5931
José Rivera 518-455-5414
Peter Rivera 518-455-5102
Linda Rosenthal 518-455-5802
Addie Russell 518-455-5545
Michael Simanowitz 518-455-4404


SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Assembly Members,

I am writing to urge a NO vote on A05449, the bill by Amy Paulin that would roll back the clock for shelter animals and give shelters the power to continue killing in the face of readily available lifesaving alternatives.

A05449 allows shelters to kill animals who they claim are in “psychological pain” immediately on intake, a death sentence for shy puppies, feral cats, and a whole host of other animals who need time to acclimate to the shelter environment currently provided by the holding period, but which would be eliminated under the Paulin bill.

Moreover, while suggesting rescue groups will have access to animals that shelters have scheduled to be killed, the bill gives those shelters the power to refuse to work with rescue groups under a wide range of unenforceable criteria, essentially codifying a power they already have. The bill gives shelters the power not to work with rescue groups in neighboring counties, if shelters determine rescue groups are “unfit,” or if the rescue groups have been critical of the shelter.

In New York City, for example, rescue groups that have openly lobbied for improved conditions have had their ability to save animals revoked, a violation of their First Amendment rights. Under Paulin’s bill, the shelters could label these rescue groups “abusive” and deny them the ability to save lives. In addition, any purported improvements, like scanning for microchips or posting animals online, only have to happen if the shelter determines doing so is “practicable.”

We want real reform in New York State, not Orwellian bills that promise one thing, while they do another. Read the bill and you’ll see that what the bill promises in its summary is not what it delivers in its mandates.

Please vote NO on the Paulin bill. And please bring A07312 (Kellner) to vote instead and vote yes on A07312.

NAME



SEE MORE:

Vegetarian (Vegan) Starter Kit: Mercy For Animals


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Guide To Cruelty-Free Eating: Vegan Outreach


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new york senators
please vote yes
for the right bill
(A07312CAARA)
one saves lives,
the other one,
kills

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



5 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Kent permalink
    February 14, 2012 12:35 am

    URGENT!! PLEASE HELP RESCUE A NYC CAT RESCUER AND HER CATS FROM AN IMPENDING AC&C SEIZURE AND LIKELY EUTHANASIA!

    A Brooklyn, NY woman who has been rescuing stray cats for much of her life is in NYC Housing Court and facing eviction along with her 43 rescued cats. If she is evicted, her cats will be taken to the City’s Animal Care & Control facility, where many otherwise adoptable cats may be needlessly euthanized. The Court is also bringing in Adult Protective Services to assess the situation, as it often does in alleged “animal hoarding” cases, and APS could request that AC&C take the cats even before they can be placed in no-kill shelters or adoptive homes.

    She is hoping to keep several of the cats that are too old or feral to be adoptable, and a few that are her personal pets, but the landlord is insisting that, because of her lease’s “no pet” clause, and despite her claim that he knew of at least some of her cats for more than a year, she can’t have any. A lawyer appointed by the court to oversee her compliance says that, under New York’s Pet Law, and even with the Federal entitlement to a companion animal for a person with a disability, she may, if she’s lucky, be allowed to keep only one cat.

    Many of these cats are young, some still kittens, and very adoptable. Some have been spayed or neutered, and a few have had shots, but there are others that still need these procedures. Some are older, some feral or skittish, and a few have health problems or disabilities, and these would most certainly be euthanized if sent to AC&C.

    Most will need to be medically evaluated before they can be placed, and this is beyond her capability due to her low income, lack of personal transportation, and the pressures of time. She has just a few more days to place the cats before her next court appearance on February 16, although APS or another unwelcome intervention could come at any time, and, if she still has “too many” cats, they could take even the ones she wants to keep before that issue can be argued in court. In short, time is of the essence.

    If each animal rescuer, shelter, foster home, or other sanctuary reading this post can take just one or two cats, these defenseless animals can be saved from what is now an uncertain, and probably dire, fate. If you can’t accept even one cat, perhaps you can help with medical services, transportation, legal advocacy or advice, or simply by forwarding this plea to someone who may be able to help. She isn’t asking for money, as she has enough to pay her rent and feed her cats, but she does need to place the cats immediately or, at least, find the supports and services that will make immediate placement possible.

    If you need more information or wish to discuss this crisis further, please reply to this post, email me at ASKent@msn.com, or call me at one of the numbers below.. I know relatively little about the animal rescue community, so any information, advice, contact information, or links will be greatly appreciated. Even if the cats do end up at AC&C, I hope that this early warning will enable those of you who do rescue from AC&C to save as many of them as possible.

    Thank you so much for considering this request. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew Kent
    ASKent@msn.com
    (347) 374-3903 – home
    (718) 791-3628 – cell
    (Both numbers have voicemail)

    Like

  2. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    February 14, 2012 3:18 am

    new york senators
    please vote yes
    for the right bill
    (A07312CAARA)
    one saves lives,
    the other one,
    kills

    Like

  3. February 14, 2012 6:46 am

    Reblogged this on delia1979.

    Like

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