Gov. Kathy Hochul is on the precipice of signing legislation that will cause the immoral and inhumane deaths of millions of shelter pets — simply for being terrified. Shelter animals have every right to tremble in New York State kill shelters. They smell death, are often kept in conditions a citizen would be arrested for, are betrayed by their person, or got lost — not understanding how they wandered from heaven and entered hell.
This bill, entitled the Companion Animal Care Standards Act, is sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Westchester, and co-sponsored by many — including Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell. Paulin appears to be on a decade-long barbarous mission to legislate that kill pounds should be given the right to quickly destroy animals for perceived psychological pain. In 2012, according to the New York Times, she attempted to pass a “quick kill bill” which would have done so. Due to extreme public outrage the bill was thwarted.
Currently, Paulin is sponsoring similar legislation, yet she uses more deviously vague language that will end the lives of frightened shelter animals. The Companion Animal Care Standards Act is a near-replica of a now defunct bill which was sponsored by self-proclaimed animal lover, former State Senator Monica Martinez, D-Long Island.
One clause in Martinez’s legislative death warrant for homeless shelter animals: “Any animal in the custody or possession of a licensed animal shelter that is observed to be experiencing mental suffering or behavioral deterioration shall be assessed and appropriately treated.” If treatment sufficient to alleviate mental suffering or behavioral deterioration cannot be provided and alternative placement for the animal is unavailable, humane euthanasia can be performed.”
Paulin’s current bill (which will soon be on the governor’s desk) uses the exact same language used by Martinez — except she took out the second paragraph. Thus, in her version stressed animals must be “treated.”
If you are an animal lover you might ask yourself why those pesky no-kill advocates are whining — isn’t treatment for scared dogs and cats a good thing? What the public doesn’t know is that kill shelters, faux animal rights groups, and other kill pound lobbyists are ecstatic about this bill, because, reprehensibly, often their preferred method of treatment for petrified shelter animals is death.
Nathan Winograd is one of the founders of the no-kill movement. He has written several pieces of legislation to save shelter pets. I interviewed Winograd about this bill, which he vehemently opposes. He writes, “Nothing in this bill prevents the animal from being killed. Indeed, supporters of this bill have long considered killing a ‘treatment’ option.” Winograd believes this legislation sets an extremely dangerous precedent.
Paulin’s Companion Animal Care Standards Act, is akin to having slaughterhouse workers write legislation for the humane treatment of farm animals they brutally slay. When I asked Winograd how animal rights groups could support this deadly bill, he responded, “They are lobbyists for shelters that harm animals, not the animals in those shelters. And so, they make it their mission to make sure those shelters don’t look bad.”
Winograd discussed bills, such as the Companion Animal Care Standards Act, get passed when politicians do not do their due diligence — by reading bills they sponsor or support — and are duped by perceived trusted experts, in this case the money and power of the ASPCA . He writes, “The ASPCA has both in droves because they emotionally manipulate people (both donors and legislators) into thinking they are one thing (an animal protection group) when they are really something else (lobbyists for institutions who harm animals).”
Hochul claims she cares about shelter pets. If so, she will veto Paulin and Lupardo’s cruel Companion Animal Care Standards Act, and work with no-kill advocates to immediately pass the Shelter Animal Rescue Act, and in the near future, the Companion Animal Protection Act.
By doing so, she would give our beloved shelter animals the one thing they cherish as much as their two-legged counterparts — life.
For all that animals do for human beings, is that too much to ask?
Dana Fuchs is a writer and animal advocate living in Long Beach, New York. She can be reached at email@example.com