Amy Paulin Revives the Quick Kill Bill

Here’s a sentence I hoped to never have to type: Amy Paulin is at it again. She’s back with a newly revised bill and some new sponsors – and unfortunately still a major, tragic, completely unacceptable flaw.

This bill’s always been a Yugo. A non-starter, a non-runner. With every revision she’s made some cosmetic improvements. A new paint job, some rims – but underneath it’s the same old clunker.

The new version, which you can view here, does clean up a few things from the last attempt. The bill now requires cats to be fed, watered, and sheltered when in shelter custody, just like dogs. It now seems to require shelters to offer animals to the list of recues that they must maintain, although the language describing that requirement is a bit confusing and unclear. It changes some of the loopholes for listing animals but they still remain loopholes – now, for instance, shelters are required to make a list of impounded animals available somehow if they find the use of the internet “impracticable” (in 2012!) – which they can easily fulfill by putting them on a bulletin board and sticking it in a shelter back room somewhere. Many of the useful improvements still have the heart cut out of them by providing generous exemption for “impracticable” requirements, like the ability to take a picture and post it on-line, and the grossly inadequate and unspecific provision requiring “necessary (medical) treatment” without defining what exactly is necessary remains.

But the engine of this Yugo, the rotting core of the disfunction remains, and this was always the primary goal of the Mayor’s Alliance and the ASPCA who wrote this bill, convinced Asw. Paulin to take it on, and have shepherded it since: every shelter still gets exclusive control over who can rescue from them. The shelter alone interprets the standards subjectively and decides who meets them – and has the broad power to bar rescues that speak out against them or that do not play by their rules. It also, still, puts shelters in the very odd position of inspecting rescues for standards that the shelters themselves do not have to (and frequently don’t) meet. To take New York City’s Animal Care and Control as an example, they’d be able to inspect rescues and bar their access if the rescue did not provide “sanitary and adequate shelter”, “appropriate exercise”, “necessary veterinary care and treatment”, and a “safe environment” – none of which they themselves provide. This is grossly unacceptable.

I am all for guaranteeing rescue access to shelters and having a standard that those rescues must meet – but those standards must be objective, and be subject to completely independent evaluation and appeal. Giving shelters the power to bar whomever they wish for whatever they wish is thoroughly counterproductive if your goal is to save lives.

I frequently use New York City as an example mostly because it is the system I am most familiar with in the city in which I live, but there is ample evidence throughout the state of shelters abusing their power and killing in the face of available rescue options – two that leap immediately to mind are Rockland County’s Hi-Tor, where every cat judged to be “feral” is executed and the shelter claims it is by county regulation – even though no such regulation exists, and the infamous Hempstead Town Shelter, where a video surfaced in 2011 of a kitten being killed by the director and her staff for fun and rescuers and volunteers were barred from entering the building. I – and most sane people – do not want these people to be the gatekeepers of who and who does not get to rescue. It is grossly unacceptable to the point of being offensive – but Ms. Paulin continues to maintain that even shelters like these are best qualified to “decide subjectively which rescues can take animals“.

Assemblywoman Paulin is pulling out all the stops to move this bill forward – and indeed, she has always stated that her intention was to wait us out and “get her bill” once the furor died down. Unable to move the bill forward in the Codes Committee, where New York’s own animal hero Asm. Joseph Lentol has committed to stopping it, she is seeking to short-cut the democratic process and now that the furor has died down to ask Speaker Sheldon Silver to bring the bill directly to a floor vote.

We must fight on and stop this latest attempt to move the bill forward. If you are a New York resident – and ONLY if you are a New York resident, please follow the link to contact Speaker Silver and/or call his office at 212-312-1420 and ask him not to allow the latest revision legislation to bypass the democratic process and go to a floor vote. Remember that Speaker Silver is not the enemy, he just needs to hear the will of the people.

Again, if you live in New York, please also follow the link to contact the sponsors of her bill and let them know that the latest revisions remain unacceptable to the animal lovers of New York State. You may also contact the offices of the sponsors by phone, which can be especially effective if you live in their district.

You can reach the offices of the sponsors at:
Robert Sweeney (Suffolk Cty) 631-957-2087
Matthew Titone (Staten Island) 718-442-9932
Peter Rivera (Bronx) 718-931-2620
Richard Gottifried (Manhattan) 212-807-7900
Michelle Schimel (Nassau Cty) 516-482-6966
Dan Losquadro (Suffolk Cty) 631-727-0204
Michael Fitzpatrick (Suffolk Cty) 631-724-2929

Finally – no matter where you live – stop by Amy Paulin’s Facebook page and let her know how you feel – you will have to leave a comment on an existing topic as starting a new topic is forbidden. Ms. Paulin’s disdain for democracy doesn’t stop at the process – she has also barred dissenters from commenting on her official Facebook page and has deleted comments critical of her bill. This is problematic as it is a public forum maintained by a taxpayer-paid elected official and her staff, where attempts to delete legitimate commentary – that is, anything not obscene or threatening – likely constitute an act of illegal restriction of free speech. Don’t stand for it. Let her know – the rules apply even to Amy Paulin. You may also wish to contact her district office at 914-723-1115. Please be as patient as you can be with the office of a politician who is allowing herself to be used by special interests to create laws that enable them to continue killing without consequence.

This entry was posted in Amy Paulin, ASPCA, Cats, Dogs, Mayor's Alliance, Politics, Shelter Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Amy Paulin or her staff deleted my comment to one of her posts regarding an article supporting this bill, which was something along the lines of “It’s strange how the non-threatening arguments which actually made sense failed to appear in this article.” And now I find myself unable to comment on anything on her page, even after liking it. Amy Paulin, grow a backbone if you want to stay an assemblywoman! If you can’t take respectful criticism (of the article, NOT EVEN YOU), how in the world are you going to represent or fight for ANYTHING?

    • Joey’s Mom

      I, too, was blocked after expressing dissent on Asw. Paulin’s FB page. Since she immediately blocks all who disagree with her about the Quick Kill Bill, commenting there isn’t worth the cost of increasing the number of “Likes”. It will only make her look popular.

  • Jeff

    This crazy bitch needs some sense knocked into her. What the hell is wrong with her? She must have never known love from an animal before. Hell, probably never known love from ANYONE in her miserable sad excuse of a life….

  • Why or what is she thinking. I simply dont understand any part of this bill she is pushing thru. They say you can judge a society on how they treat thier animals!! Well in her case ,we are no better than a third world counrty. So sad these poor animals are caught up in this red tape. Where to start to change this?? Get a few celebs together,they carry a lot of her voters . Please lets do something.

  • Emm

    I don’t understand why Amy Paulin is so hell bent on pushing this Bill into Law? What is she getting from it?
    This isn’t something ground breaking (in regards to animal welfare only in that it wants to set animal welfare back instead of advancing it) or important…so is she purely selfish and wants to make a ‘name’ for herself by getting this Bill passed?

  • Maureen

    At this point, I am not going to even bother with Amy Paulin…at the very least it is all about her ego for some odd reason…so deaf ears and all that. Instead I signed the email to go to her co-sponsors as well as went to Mr. Silver’s website to write my own email (in support of CAARA as well) and got the addresses of his Albany and New York offices to mail off letters this morning. We need the quick bill to die and die soon and we need the CAARA bill to get passed. So I thought it a good idea to offer Mr. Silver an alternative while asking him to make sure Ms. Paulin’s bill never sees the light of the Assembly floor for a vote.

  • Laura

    You can’t leave any comments. And I’m definitely never going to like this low lifes page.