New York State – News and comment: A controversial, proposed state law (bill) has been introduced by Assemblywoman Amie Paulin. It is legislation which would allow animal shelters to euthanise animals in their care who they think are suffering from psychological pain or ‘mental suffering’. How are they going to be able to assess it! And in any case pretty well all shelter animals suffer mentally as the experience is bloody awful for them.
Animal advocates are very much against this new statute in New York state because, as Nathan Winograd explains, there is no definition of “mental suffering” and there are no standards as to how shelters should apply it.
It is a very dangerous piece of legislation because when cats and dogs find themselves in shelters they’re going to be stressed and it is a short step from a cat or dog feeling stressed and behaving accordingly to them being assessed as suffering mentally and being killed under the euphemism of ‘euthanasia’.
And that grey, amorphous area opens a door to unnecessary, cruel shelter animal killings.
The legislation is called the Companion Animal Care Standards Act which is insidiously indicative of ‘care’ being applied to animals when it’s about the exact opposite. In an opinion piece, Dana Fuchs tells us that the governor of New York state, Kathy Hochul is on the verge of signing off this new legislation and in doing so she will cause the “immoral and inhumane deaths of millions of shelter pets – simply for being terrified”.
It does indeed seem to be an open door to killing shelter animals and Dana Fuchs claims that the sponsor of the bill, Assemblywoman Amy 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”.
Fuchs claims that this assemblywoman has a history of being anti-shelter animal because in 2012 according to a report in the New York Times she attempted to pass a “quick kill bill” but it was thwarted. 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”.
Paulin’s current bill which is believed to be on the governor’s desk for signing off uses very similar language to that used by Martinez.
This appears to be a concerted attempt by some members of the New York State assembly to allow shelter managers to kill shelter animals with greater freedom resulting in unnecessary deaths.
If this bill is signed off by the governor, it will be ironic that under the banner of “shelter” any unwanted animals entering the shelters of New York state will not be sheltered. They will enter a facility in which they’re likely to be killed, the exact opposite to what the signage outside the facility indicates.
Postscript: the legislation seems incongruous because New York state was the first, as I recall, to ban the declawing of cats. The New York State legislature appears to me to have a good record of animal welfare so what is going on?
Below are some more articles on animal shelters.