We Need CAARA Now – UPDATED

UPDATE: The committee vote on CAARA has been moved one last time: it is officially on the schedule for Thursday, May 31. It is imperative that animal loving New Yorkers contact the members of the committee and encourage them to vote for CAARA – and to contact Chairman William Magee and remind him of his chance to be a hero for the animals of New York.

UPDATE: CAARA ALERT! Agriculture Committee Chairman William Magee is digging in his heels. He’s telling callers to his office that he HAS to recommend a no vote because the legislation has no Senate sponsor. First of all, it does: Sen. Robach. Second, it doesn’t need to have a Senate sponsor to pass an Assembly committee – the Paulin “Quick Kill” bill had no Senate sponsor when he encouraged a “yes” vote in his committee and passed it through. Don’t fall for it and don’t let up. Let Asm. Magee know that you know the truth. You can reach his Albany office at 518-455-4807.

I honestly did not expect CAARA to have the opportunity to move forward in this legislative session, but thankfully I was wrong. The word is that CAARA is to be voted on in the Agriculture Committee in the next week or two – our last shot at getting it passed this session before the Assembly recesses in June.

The impediment to forward progress is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee Assemblyman William Magee (Madison and Ostego Counties), who has opposed passing the bill out of his committee in the past. We need a show of strength and for the animal advocates of New York State (and only NYS!) to email all of the members of the committee to show their support for CAARA.

There are three alerts to reach ALL of the members of the legislative committee – you must use ALL of them to reach every member! Please be polite, be firm, and express your support for this legislation. Text has been provided for you but adding your own thoughts is always beneficial.

Alert 1
Alert 2
Alert 3

I encourage you all to read the actual text of the Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act, sponsored by one of the New York Assembly’s true heroes for animals, Assemblyman Micah Kellner. In this day and age it’s common for opponents of a bill to simply lie about what’s in it and although it can be dense at times, a reading is very worthwhile. It is a bill that will give the strongest possible protections to the sheltered animals of New York State, one that will set standards for their care and make sure they are required to be made available to qualified rescue groups. It would require medical treatment of the sick and require that shelters make a genuine effort to locate the owners of lost animals. It gives sheltered animals every possible opportunity at life and I am proud to support it.

This past week I had the opportunity to participate in a rescue that saved 64 cats, mostly kittens, from New York City’s Animal Care and Control. Inspired by a tragedy, Pets Alive pulled every single available kitten they could get their hands on. With CAARA in place, that tragedy never would have happened – and the kittens pulled would have been required to have had their medical needs met instead of suffering as they waited for a rescue.

It’s not just New York City. All of New York would benefit from a legal mandate to clean up their act and follow some common sense ethical standards, from the horrifically abusive Niagra Humane Society to the arrogant and cruel Hempstead Animal Shelter to the Hi Tor Animal Care Center, where a board member recently claimed in a newspaper article that every feral cat entering the facility is killed due to “Rockland County Public Health regulations” which do not exist.

The ASPCA supports organizations like these, and they are the major force opposing CAARA. They can’t support cruelty and killing in New York State forever. The tide is turning, and we are the ones who will end this madness. Please help. We can do this.

For extra impact, you may also wish to contact members of the committee directly. This can be especially effective if you live in their districts. They are:
William Magee (Madison, Otsego Counties) 315-361-4125 Committee Chair
Clifford Crouch (Binghamton Area) 607-648-6080
Marc Butler (Herkimer, Fulton, Otsego Counties) 518-762-6486
Ken Blankenbush (Lewis, Oswego, Saint Lawrence and Jefferson Counties) 315-493-3909
Harry Bronson (Rochester Area) 585-244-5255
Michael Benedetto (Bronx) 718-320-2220
George Amedore (Montgomery, Schenectatdy Counties) 518-843-0227
Alan Maisel (Brooklyn) 718-968-2770
Peter Lopez (Greene, Columbia, Schoharie, Otsego, Delaware Counties) 518-943-1371
Aileen Gunther (Sullivan, Orange Counties) 845-794-5807
Stephen Hawley (Orleans, Niagra, Genesee, Monroe Counties) 585-589-5780
Gary Finch (Tioga, Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Cayuga Counties) 315-255-3045
Barbara Lifton (Ithaca area) 607-277-8030
Michael Simanowitz (Queens) 718-969-1508
John McEneny (Albany Area) 518-455-4178
Bob Reilly (Saratoga, Albany Counties) 518-371-0568
Francisco Moya (Queens) 718-458-5367
Jose Rivera (Bronx) 718-933-2204
Addie Russell (St. Lawrence, Jefferson Counties) 315-786-0284
Linda Rosenthal (Manhattan) 212-873-6368
Peter Rivera (Bronx) 718-931-2620
Didi Barrett (Dutchess, Columbia County) 845-758-9790
Frank Skartados (Dutchess, Ulster, Orange County) 518-455-5762

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