The ASPCA is mobilizing proxies to defend the Quick Kill Bill they’re introducing on Wednesday, February 15th. They’re following their usual playbook: promote the bill by lying about what’s in it (or not in it), and really hope no one actually reads it.
I want the animal advocates of New York to be well informed, and I want you to know what you’re fighting for is right. I encourage you to read the entire text of the bill and Nathan Winograd’s excellent and complete analysis of it. But if you read nothing else, please read the most destructive section of this very destructive proposed legislation. As this is a change to an existing statute, items contained in brackets are proposed deletions and all-caps text is proposed additions.
S 374. Humane destruction or other disposition of animals lost, strayed, homeless, abandoned or improperly confined or kept.
1. Any agent or officer of any duly incorporated humane society, a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any dog control officer, or any police officer, may lawfully cause to be humanely destroyed (by means provided for in paragraph a of subdivision [three] FOUR of this section) any animal found abandoned [and], OR not properly cared for, or any lost, strayed, homeless or unwanted animal[,] if upon examination a licensed veterinarian shall certify in writing, or if two reputable citizens called upon by such agent, officer or police officer to view the same in his or her presence find:
A. that the animal is so maimed, diseased, disabled, or infirm so as to be [unfit for any useful purpose] SUFFERING IRREMEDIABLE PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN and that humane euthanasia is warranted; or [after such agent, officer or police officer has obtained in writing from the owner of such animal his or her consent to such destruction]
B. THAT HUMANE EUTHANASIA IS NECESSARY TO ALLEVIATE A CONTAGIOUS, DEADLY HEALTH CONDITION; OR
C. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, THE OWNER OF SUCH ANIMAL HAS GIVEN HIS OR HER WRITTEN CONSENT TO SUCH DESTRUCTION TO SUCH AGENT, OFFICER OR POLICE OFFICER.
So there it is in black and white, and don’t let anyone tell you differently: if an animal comes in as a stray and any two “reputable citizens” – like, say, the shelter director and their staff – agree that the animal is in “psychological pain” or that killing them is necessary to “alleviate a contagious, deadly health condition”, then it would be permissible to skip the mandatory stray hold period and kill them instantly upon entry to the facility. Other than finding two “reputable citizens”, they need no expertise, no special training, no medical background, and there is no definition provided of what constitutes “psychological pain” or what a “contagious, deadly health condition” is – if you’re familiar with the operations at New York City Animal Control, you undoubtedly know that they routinely label animals with minor illnesses such as kennel cough or no illness at all to have “major conditions” so they can put them on the kill list. With this law they wouldn’t even have to wait that long – a dog with kennel cough could simply be killed on intake without even a stray hold. Why go through the expense of even having a vet diagnose an animal when two minimum wage shelter staff can simply agree the animal needs to die and go about making it happen?
Fight this bill – find out how here. Fight it with all you’ve got, and fight it with the truth. The animals of New York are counting on us all.