NYC: Landslide Victory for Animal Care & Control Bill!
NYC Intro. 655—Improves New York City’s Animal Shelter System
Sponsor: Councilmember Jessica Lappin
ASPCA Position: Support
Action Needed: None at this time.
Update—September 28, 2011:
Great news, New Yorkers—Mayor Bloomberg signed Intro. 655 into law last night. The law goes into effect immediately.
Update—September 22, 2011: Last night, the New York City Council passed Intro. 655 by a vote of 46-4. The ASPCA, along with other humane organizations, has been talking to the City about ACC’s need for stronger support for a long time, and we’re pleased that this legislation comes with a whole package of improvements, the most important of which are the budget increases and promised expansion of ACC’s board of directors. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
We are excited to announce that Councilmember Jessica Lappin has introduced a bill, Intro. 655, which would improve New York City’s animal shelter system by:
- Requiring the animal receiving centers in the Bronx and Queens, as well as field services, to operate seven days a week, 12 hours per day. (Currently the receiving centers are open only one and two days, respectively, and the field services program has been cut entirely);
- Ensuring the maintenance of the city’s three full-service animal shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island;
- Requiring owners to spay or neuter all owned, free-roaming outdoor cats;
- Implementing trap-neuter-return (TNR) rules; and
- Requiring the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to provide a report 24 months from the day the bill is signed that will provide key data on trends on the progress and quality of care at each full-service animal shelter and animal receiving center.
In conjunction with legislation, the Mayor and City Council have pledged to provide a dramatic increase in funding that will restore vital animal welfare services. The City will commit to increasing its investment in the shelters by nearly $10 million over the next three years. This year, an additional $1 million will be invested, and by July 2014, the City’s annual budget for the shelters will exceed $12 million—77 percent above current funding. The DOHMH projects that once this funding increase has been fully implemented, shelter staffing will grow by as many as 100 positions.
A well-funded animal control program creates jobs and decreases potential threats to public health and safety—it’s good for the entire city, not just animal lovers.