When we last checked in with Amy Paulin’s Quick Kill Bill we looked to be in pretty good shape. The ASPCA was expressing displeasure and distancing themselves with some of the aspects of the bill they themselves had written in response to massive public outcry, cosponsors were running away, and the bill seemed destined for a quick death in the Codes Committee.
Then something interesting happened: they doubled down and started to marshal their forces to defend the Quick Kill Bill. The first step? They’re getting the band back together. (What band? The Killers, of course!)
An Amy Paulin press release revealed that her allies are not only the ASPCA but Jane Hoffman of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals (who depends on the ASPCA for a large part of the funding for her organization) and ASPCA kool-aid dispenser the Animal Law Coalition (a coalition of one, Laura Allen). If this collection of names sound familiar, it should, because these are the forces behind some of the worst legislative ideas in New York in the last few years. These are the folks who got together to defeat the original Oreo’s Law out of mutual self-interests and prevent shelter access reform in New York State. These are the people who got together to sell out the animals of New York City by passing Int. 655 (now Local Law 59 of 2011), which relieved the city of its legal responsibility to build and staff full service shelters of every borough in New York City. And these are the people who found a new stooge, Amy Paulin, to help them introduce legislation in order to block CAARA, a progressive law that sets a new standard of rescue access for shelter animals and codifies in law minimum standards for how shelter animals are to be cared for and treated. These are the people who exert great influence over New York City’s Animal Care and Control, who enable them to kill and to keep killing, and who now seek to drag the rest of New York State down to those standards.
Tomorrow – Tue, Feb 28, the newly reformed band will make their first joint appearance together in support of the bill in an online forum on lohud.com at 1:30pm. At that time you’ll be able to click here and join in an interactive forum with Amy Paulin, Jane Hoffman and Nancy Perry of the ASPCA.
They’re going to undoubtedly try some of the following talking points – some of which are outright lies. Here’s the truth about the Quick Kill Bill.
Amy Paulin has said that she is willing to withdraw the Quick Kill provision of the Quick Kill Bill – the language that allows the speedy execution of animals judged to be in “psychological pain”.
She may be willing in word, but she has not yet withdrawn that provision and it remains part of the bill.
Amy Paulin has said that the bill requires that shelters take additional steps to require shelters to reunite a lost pet and their owners.
The bill undermines any such language by exempting shelters from any requirement that they do not find “practicable”. For instance, they are required to scan for a microchip, check lost pet reports, and make listings of lost animals available on a website as soon as is “practicable”. This is a massive loophole; any shelter accused of wrongdoing under the law could simply claim that they found the requirement to be not practicable and they’re off the hook. This is not a law; this is a suggestion. If we could trust shelters to do the right thing, we wouldn’t need a law that requires them to take lifesaving steps, as CAARA does, instead of declaring them to be optional, as the Quick Kill Bill does – toothless loopholes masquerading as real reform.
Amy Paulin has said that the bill sets up a rescue oversight process between rescuers and shelters.
The bill says that shelters may work with rescue groups – but they don’t have to, and if they do they ARE the oversight process. They decide who gets to rescue and they can eject rescues that speak out against them. Interestingly, the bill requires that rescues pulling from shelters are able to provide necessary veterinary treatment and have effective disease control protocols, meaning that NYCACC would have approval over standards of other rescues that they themselves do not and cannot meet. Putting shelters in charge of regulating who can rescue from them merely codifies the current status quo, it is no kind of improvement and would not prevent abusive shelters from silencing their critics and preventing rescuers from taking animals and killing them instead, as now happens routinely. CAARA, by contrast, contains provisions that protect shelter whistleblowers and establishes objective standards for rescues that are not subject to manipulation by the shelter.
Amy Paulin has said that the bill improves requirements for shelter care and medical treatment.
The bill provides extremely nonspecific standards of care, with loopholes and weak language throughout – including some truly disturbing passages, like only requiring medical care and treatment for animals during their stray hold period. By contrast, CAARA provides very specific and detailed standards of care without the loopholes.
Amy Paulin has said that the bill establishes additional criteria for when an animal can be humanely euthanized as a last resort and tightens the exiting language.
The bill changes archaic and rarely invoked language to modern language for when animals may be killed as a first resort, negating the stray hold period, using language very similar (“psychological pain”) to that frequently cited by high-kill groups like PETA to justify the killing of stray cats and scared dogs. It replaces archaic language with a justification in the language that people who wish to exterminate feral cats already speak fluently and refer to often.
Finally, the ASPCA says that CAARA cannot pass because it contains “unfunded mandates”, which is when a bill requires expenditures without providing a source to fund them. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what they’re talking about – I see no massive expenditures attached to CAARA and when questioned they can never produce the requirements that are so terribly expensive. Not only does CAARA codify what most animal lovers believe to be common sense, it will undoubtedly lead to savings because cooperating fully with rescue groups means that animals spend less time in the shelter and transfer to rescue is far cheaper than killing. There simply are no huge expenditures involved in CAARA and they have yet to name any.
These are the main talking points I expect them to cover – but you can find an even more exhaustive comparison between CAARA and the Quick Kill Bill here. I highly recommend that anyone interested read the complete text of the Quick Kill Bill and of CAARA for themselves as well.
What can you do to help stop the Quick Kill Bill and support CAARA?
No matter where you live, participate in tomorrow’s online forum on Tue, Feb 28 at 1:30pm EST and be ready to refute their Quick Kill Bill talking points and express your opposition.
If you live in New York, PLEASE contact the sponsors of the bill and ask them to withdraw their sponsorship and support CAARA – and tell them why they should. We need more New Yorkers to do this – TODAY!
Finally, wherever you live, contact Assemblywoman Paulin on her facebook page and publicly register your opposition to the bill, and contact the Chairwoman of the Board of the ASPCA and ask her to get her organization out of the killing business and join us – and CAARA – in our efforts to save lives.