New law protects animals in New York state shelters

Legislation co-sponsored by Congresswoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) raises standards of care at animal shelters and animal rescue organizations in New York State.

The measure passed in late May in the House and Senate as part of the final actions of the legislative session in Albany, gives shelters a set of standards that everyone must follow to ensure that stray and abandoned dogs and cats get the same quality. housing, veterinary care and food at all facilities operating in the Empire State.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

The new legislation will require passing state inspections in the future. The guidance will be administered by the Agriculture and Markets Division.

$147,000 is in the state budget to help shelters enforce the rules.

Supporters say new regulations that address everything from housing animals in shelters to transporting pets to and from public and private shelters to treating animals in foster care for rescues and shelters are designed to help animal welfare groups provide the best care for homeless pets.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

Some of the specific provisions of the law require a written management structure for all shelters, a requirement that all prescription drugs and medical treatment must be administered under the advice of a veterinarian. In addition, all animals must be assessed within two hours of admission by a trained staff member and appropriate veterinary care must be administered in a timely manner to any animal in distress or showing signs of illness or injury. Tests are also needed to identify behavior and medical conditions within 24 hours.

Violations could result in license denial, revocation, suspension or denial of renewal as well as fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

Full legislation can be viewed here.

The New York State Animal Care Federation is expected to help organizations meet the new standards when they go into effect in 2025.


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