[Editor’s note, Nov 19 2016: This article has recently started to be shared again on Twitter. It is four years old and the information is out of date. The situation was resolved, the Quick Kill Bill is dead. This article remains for archival purposes only.]
Though the ASPCA gives the occasional glimmer of hope, recent events remind me that they remain mired in a killing mentality and seek to preserve the status quo in sheltering, even fighting to expand the power of shelters to kill at will.
Recently the ASPCA
suckered convinced NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin to introduce their pseudo-shelter reform legislation. Embarrassed by the outcry in favor of Oreo’s Law (now CAARA), they immediately scrambled to write their own shelter reform law – one that they could claim made a difference for the better in the lives of NY animals while actually quietly blocking actual reform and expanding NY shelters’ power to kill.
The ASPCA co-opts meaningful shelter reform legislation largely by copying it but then including weasel words like substituting “may” for “shall”. So instead of requiring shelters to work with outside rescue groups, it simply says that they can if they choose to. Other meaningful reforms, like requiring shelters to scan for microchips, post found animals online, and make an effort to match lost and found animals are scuttled by including an exception if the shelter does not find it “practicable” to do so. Well, given the choice, they won’t find it practicable, which is why we need legislation that mandates it.
Most destructively and unbelievably, the ASPCA written legislation contains a clause that would, for all practical purposes, eliminate the legally mandated holding period for stray animals by allowing shelters to kill any animal who they found to be in “psychological pain”. This is nothing less than a declaration of war on feral cats, scared dogs, or any animal that found themselves scared and confused upon being brought into the chaotic shelter environment – or any animal they simply wanted to find a flimsy excuse to kill. Animals judged by laypeople with no training whatsoever to be in “psychological pain” could be killed instantly on admission to the shelter and bypass the legally required holding period to give their owners the chance to find them.
New Yorkers, we need your help – quickly. This bill, known as New York Assembly Bill A05449A, will face its first committee vote on Wednesday, February 15th. We haven’t much time. The first thing we need to do is to tell our elected officials that we will not tolerate an ASPCA encouraged increase in shelter killing in New York State.
Please visit New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s Facebook page and leave her a polite, personal comment asking her to withdraw her bill, A05449A, from consideration. Asw. Paulin is up for re-election in November and wants to be a champion of animals in New York State, and she probably would not want to risk her re-election on being dubbed Amy “Quick Kill” Paulin. You might also consider sending her a message on Twitter, although she appears to use that less. Also drop an email to ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres and ASPCA Board President Mary Jo White and let them know what you think of their organization’s legislation. Then visit the following four links to email key legislators to send them your thoughts:
Keep in mind that although you can use the text that’s been written for you, a heartfelt personal note always goes a long way.
Finally, support REAL change in the form of CAARA, which mandates REAL reform instead of making it optional. CAARA is trying to get the support of NYS Senator Patty Richie, Chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee, and her support would really help move the bill forward. Email her here and ask her to support this lifesaving effort – and you can read more about CAARA here and read the complete text of the bill here. New York’s animals deserve better than the deadly slight of hand of the ASPCA Quick Kill. They deserve the lifesaving provisions of CAARA.