Hundreds of men, women, children and animals gathered in Albany this past month for what has become an annual tradition…Animal Advocacy Day. It’s a day when animal advocates converge on our state’s capitol to meet with lawmakers to discuss legislation aimed at protecting and improving the lives of animals. NYS Senator Phil Boyle (R- Bay Shore) is one of the organizers of the event and says, “On Animal Advocacy Day, hundreds of New Yorkers joined with us as we became the voices of the voiceless. We rallied to protect our pets and companion animals from those who would do them harm.”
NYS Assemblyman Dean Murray (R- East Patchogue), who owns and publishes the Long Island Pet Lover newspaper and website, joined Senator Boyle at the rally and says he considers this to be an extremely important day because, “it allows us to hear directly from pet owners, animal lovers and advocates about how certain legislation will affect the animals. It’s important for lawmakers to know that these bills that we are voting on will have a direct impact on the quality of life of the animals and their owners.” Murray adds, “We need to make sure that these animals, who can’t speak for themselves, have a voice in Albany.”
Following the rally, lawmakers went on to vote on several animal related pieces of legislation. Some of those bills that passed both houses and went to the Governor for his signature included.
A.680 (Rosenthal) – Incentivizes veterinarians to participate in free spay and neuter programs.
S.98-A (Boyle) – Research animal retirement act, which encourages pet adoption over euthanasia.
S.6428-A (Avella) – Requires pet dealers to provide instructions on caring for small animals…
A.3448 (Glick) – Specifies that cats & dogs are not included in the definition of wildlife in the EnCon law.
While many are happy that these bills made it through and are headed to the Governor for his signature, there are other bills that were not passed. Three that come to mind include:
1) Having a statewide animal abuse registry to ensure those that have harmed animals will not have the opportunity to do so again.
2) Requiring groomers to be licensed and/or certified to ensure that those operating such facilities know what they are doing.
3) Passing Kirby & Quigley’s Law to increase penalties on those who harm animals during the commission of a crime.
Advocates are hopeful that these and others will be taken up and voted on next year when the 2017
legislative session begins in January. Assemblyman Murray and Senator Boyle encourage everyone
to reach out to all of the elected officials in Albany to let them know how important these
bills are to the animals that we love.
NYS Assemblyman Dean Murray (R- East Patchogue) NYS Senator Phil Boyle (R- Bay Shore)