Amy Paulin Amends Quick Kill Bill… To Be Quiet Kill Bill

Because it was inevitable, because YOU made it inevitable, Amy Paulin has amended the Quick Kill Bill to remove the section that refers to killing animals due to “psychological pain”. Finally, after telling her fellow legislators she’d remove it if they passed it through the agricultural committee, and then did not. After claiming to the press that it would be removed, and then did not. After claiming to the press that it already had been removed… and then waiting a few more days, just for good measure. We’re still waiting for her to “reach out to rescue groups”, as she’s been promising to for months. Don’t hold your breath.

Amy Paulin’s unethical behavior has cost her the support of 11 of her co-sponsors so far and of the sponsor of the companion Senate legislation. Presumably, now that she’s changed her “Quick Kill” language, she thinks that she can re-build her support and get this legislation passed, the legislation designed very specifically to block actual, meaningful shelter reform in New York State. They’re really interested in New York City Animal Care and Control specifically, but they’re perfectly happy to see the rest of the state’s animals affected as well.

While Amy Paulin has removed the Quick Kill language from the bill, enormously destructive passages remain. The new revisions leave us with the Quiet Kill Bill. This is legislation masquerading as a shelter reform act where shelters give up a little to get a lot.

When you look at the newly amended bill (and I encourage everyone to read it), one of the first things that jumps out at you is the parts of the law relating to interfacing with rescues. How the list of rescues is to be constructed, who can be on it, all that sort of thing – and it looks not bad at first glance, it’s pretty impressive. But then there’s one of those weasel words again…

In the absence of such findings or certification, a duly incorporated humane society, a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, ANIMAL SHELTER, or any pound maintained by or under contract or agreement with any county, city, town or village may after five days make available for adoption, PLACE WITH AN ORGANIZATION ON A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT IS MAINTAINED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION or have humanely destroyed SUBJECT TO AND in accordance

That word is may. The shelter does not HAVE to release animals to rescue. They do not HAVE to adopt out to the public. Once the five day stray hold is up, they can adopt, contact rescues, or kill – and owner surrenders don’t even get that small protection, the shelter is left to do with them as they please, including killing them on intake. Their option. This isn’t what I want to see in a shelter reform bill; I do not wish to see shelters given the ability to completely shut out the public and rescue if they so choose and continue killing, quietly. All the rest of the requirements for rescues to be on the list are of little use if the shelter “may” work with them if they wish, but don’t have to.

The “memo” section, which lays out the legislative goals of the bill, is even more crystal clear:

Section four amends section 374 of the agriculture and markets law. Subdivision 2 is amended to add “placement with an organization on a list of approved organizations” as an option for a humane society, animal shelter or pound to consider in the case of any animal of which possession is taken.

Working with rescues? Adopting to the public? Only an option. Killing remains a perfectly valid choice – just shut ’em all out, keep it hush-hush, all thanks to the Quiet Kill Bill.

Now, if the shelter WISHES to make an animal available for rescue, they still have exclusive control over who is on the list. They inspect them and they make the choices – and although they have to inform organizations who do not make the list why not, the shelter has the final word. This is a very dangerous law to make, putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Further, they may bar any rescue from the list for “behavior that disrupts or interferes with the impounding organization’s lawful operations”. That’s a massively broad clause that is ripe for abuse – speak out against the shelter and have your rescue access pulled.

Other weaknesses abound. Shelters are now only required to consider for their list rescues in their county and adjoining counties for no particular reason other than to limit access. There is simply no reason for this clause in the interest of lifesaving.

The internet revolution seems to have left Ms. Paulin behind, which should not be a surprise to anyone who has been to her Facebook page. Lost animals are required to be listed on the internet, with a photograph, “if practicable”. Oh, and the notice does not have to be posted AT ALL on the internet “if use of the internet is impracticable”. Ms Paulin, it’s 2012. A $50 cell phone has a perfectly serviceable camera on it and a Facebook account is free. There’s just no excuse not to require the posting of lost animals on the net in this day and age.

This bill remains a very serious threat to the welfare of animals in New York State, and we must not stop contacting the sponsors – and letting them know what this bill REALLY does. There is a continuously updated list of current sponsors of the bill here with phone numbers and an email link to email all of them. Please don’t stop contacting the legislators supporting this bill and let them know what it REALLY stands for – quietly continuing business as usual while blocking meaningful refrom legislation. ALWAYS be polite when contacting legislators – they are not the enemy and many believe they are doing the right thing! They simply need an education (and mentioning the superior bill, Micah Kellner’s CAARA, wouldn’t hurt either).

Finally, there is one more important thing for New Yorkers (and please, only New Yorkers!) to do – the next step for this bill will be to go to the Codes Committee, where Chairman Joseph Lentol has previously stated that he would stop the bill in its previous form. One of his greatest issues was whistleblower protection – that shelters could eject any rescue that spoke out against them. That remains in the bill along with the “Quiet Kill” provisions that fake reform while leaving shelters to operate as usual. Chairman Lentol has been a hero to us and we need to let him know that we still need and want his help to stop this bill and focus on REAL reform for New York’s shelter animals – so please contact his office and ask for his help once again by stopping the amended bill in the codes committee. We are big fans of Assemblyman Joe and know he will come through for us once again!

This entry was posted in ASPCA, Cats, Dogs, No Kill, NYCACC, Politics, Shelter Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.
  • l g madsen

    People who write blogs and don’t live in the real world tend to forget that not everyone has the luxury of the unlimited connect time necessary to cover the considerable expense of sending photos via email, or even the technical expertise necessary to perform the procedures.

    • John

      I’m impressed, how in the world did you figure out how to leave a comment?

      You do realize that we now live in a world where most 14 year olds carry the hardware to do this in a few seconds, tops? “Considerable expense” my behind. It’s like not having a phone on the director’s desk. So expensive! So many buttons! Who could figure it out?

    • elizabeth mcmahon

      You clearly don’t know what real world is. If you don’t possess the technical expertise (which is actually minimal) to upload a photo to fb or any photosharing site, stop by your local library and take a computer class. They’re free. No considerable cost. Your taxes support those endeavors as well as the nefarious Quick Kill Bill, were it to pass, and as it supports the death camps of NYCACC. And unlimited connect time? Like in the 90s with dial up modems? You pay one price monthly and you’re covered. No additional expense for sending photos via email. Or by your phone, or camera. And if you don’t have computer access to do this, go to your local library, once again. You are full of excuses, none of which have legs. I think I know whose side you’re on.

      • Update

        I don’t anyone who is more in the real world than a person who works in mid-town and then uses his spare time to go into the NYACC to rescue dogs–and not just any dogs–but dogs who are gravely injured or ill. There is little that could be more real or gritty that….

    • I live in rural South Carolina. I understand about internet connectivity issues. Still, I manage to upload photos and videos regularly. Please contact me if I can help someone in New York effing City learn to handle their internet connectivity challenges.

    • Kathleen Jack

      l g madsen, we ALL live in the real world — one where innocent homeless animals are killed every day. Try visiting one of the pages who posts the Kill Lists every night in hopes of giving these animals one last chance because no one who gets paid to care actually does. Then you’ll see the “real” world.

      And I and a small group manage to post these pictures every night on NYC Urgent Cats facebook page. It’s not rocket science. And if someone at the shelter doesn’t have the “technical expertise” to do it, they should let us know. And it doesn’t take long at all — takes us about 5 minutes to post 20 pictures and descriptions for the Kill List every night. So no lame excuses.

    • Pia

      Should someone who doesn’t posess the “technical expertise” of today’s average 12 year old even be allowed to hold a position with the massive resposibilities of caring for other living beings and be allowed to make life and death decisions regarding their lives?

      Seems to me you think that employees at for instance the AC&C are largely incompetent. Well put!

      • Victoria Buldak

        So true, if you cannot figure out how to use a camera phone, or a regular camera, download the pics and then post, or do not have the mental capacity to find someone who can, then you should not be making important decisions. And if you have no desire to learn or find someone to download pics to the internet in an effort to help find homes for the animals you say you care about, then you are lieing and only doing a job for a salary!

    • I’m in rural Georgia. I walk my dogs on unpaved roads past horse and cow pastures, and I have high-speed internet *and* indoor plumbing!

    • ZaCloud

      I bought a $70 phone a few weeks ago from a Kroger grocery store, a smartphone with a big screen so I can watch YouTube on it, and wireless internet capability. There are actually regular ol’ fliphones and candy-bar phones for MUCH cheaper that still have all the same options, just tinier screens. $30-$45 a pop!

      I don’t have a plan on the phone. I don’t pay any fees on it. I can just snap a picture easy as pie, then walk to a place with free wi-fi internet (I’m not even in a big city, there’s practically NOTHING to do in this little suburb, yet just about every McDonald’s or Burger King has wi-fi). And with a simple tap I can upload all the photos I want to Facebook.

      For free, almost instantly.

      That one-time cost for the phone, and perhaps even a $30 wireless internet router so the phone can get wi-fi all the time at the shelter (I’m sure the shelters already pay for internet anyway to look up rescue information, upkeep websites, etc., so just add the wireless to the internet and you’re set!).

      For the ONE-TIME cost of one adoption, for maybe half an hour a day once they get caught up, someone at the shelter can get all the pets’ faces and status onto Facebook. And with that database established, people will have been informed to check there if they’ve lost their pet, or are looking for adoption prospects, or rescues keeping an eye out for pets at risk of euthanasia.

      It’s easy, it’s a tiny investment that becomes completely free for all of the foreseeable future, it’s only a shred of time that surely anyone who cares about animals is willing to put in. Line up camera. Click. Menu. Upload to Facebook. Pick album, add a quick caption. Done. Repeat.

      • Victoria Buldak

        Well said, one stop shopping for a pet, lost pet checking, and other animal wellness programs such as humane traps for TNR or spay/neuter clinics, therapy dog/cat programs etc that are in the area!!

    • db

      Sorry, I do live in the real world and my 8 year old granddaughter could handle this job quite nicely. I’m not buying what you’re selling! Apologists and excuse makers are part of the problem! And while you’re making these excuses, animals are being killed by the thousands across the country.

  • Valerie

    I’m endlessly amused by these “shelters” who wag their fingers at rescue and behave as if they’re the animal expert empire while ordering 50 cases of Fatal Plus a week. They’ll tell you they’re worried about hoarding. Have you ever been in a shelter? They’re hoarders. Thank you for the work you’ve done to educate us on the Quick Kill Bill and FYI- any idiot can post animals on Facebook and Twitter and since the NY shelters have all the time in the world to murder homeless animals in crisis- they can cut into that time and post instead.

  • Shelter Reform Action Committee previously created a nice side-by-side comparison of sections from the original texts of A.5449-A versus CAARA showing why the language MUST be precise to protect shelter animals.

    • Janet

      Thanks for this blog & thanks for this link Greg.

  • Jeanne Patterson

    Amy dropped the ball big time w/ this… & NY should hang it’s head in shame w/ how the ACC is run…Bill Bruce came all the way from Calgary to give a seminar sharing how they handle things there to have many strays re-united w/ owners & many more animals adopted out & no kill AT NO EXPENSE TO THE TAXPAYERS…well NY can be just as progressive as Canada- I saw videos on youtube from the last public meeting the ACC had where several very qualified people, including an attorney, offered to be on the board of the ACC…more people would like to volunteer att the ACC if it were made feaseable…I live in Dutchess County & adopted a cat from the kill list @ the NYCACC & would consider travelling down to Harlem to volunteer …& I am sure there are many more like me out there…The NYCACC is a dirty little secret that is not so secret anymore…& it’s time to clean up the huge stinking mess!

  • Until killing animals is more of a hassle than letting them live, we will continue to see needless killing in our animal shelters for the sake of expediency. Perhaps if it is too much trouble to list “so many” animals as on the “euth” list, maybe they’ll reconsider AND TAKE THEM OFF AND ADOPT THEM OUT! Geez, what a concept. Bottom line, the more “impracticable” it is, the better it is FOR THE ANIMALS.

  • Angela Recker

    ASSemblywoman Amy “I HATE ANIMALS” Paulin is back to her duplicitous tricks. She is STILL LYING, something she is very experienced at doing. While she has reworded her “BILL OF DEATH”, she has NOT FIXED THE INHERENT DANGERS TO THE ANIMALS. Shelters can still “pick & choose” which rescues they will work with & the ONLY CRITERIA being that the shelter “likes” the rescues. This ISN’T FACEBOOK! LIKES DON’T COUNT! Paulin couldn’t tell the truth if someone wrote it out for her to read! She needs to throw her bill away. She’s now LOST 11 OF HER CO-SPONSORS! How many more clues does she need? THIS “MISGUIDED, UNIFORMED & UNEDUCATED” ASSemblywoman needs to go. DO NOT RE-ELECT HER IN NOV OR VOTE FOR HER IF SHE RUNS FOR US CONGREESS! SHE DOES NOT BELONG IN ANY OFFICE!

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  • Rana

    The more animals these institutes kill, the more money they make. That’s just a reality! You see, it’s more lucrative to collect from tender-hearted people that will donate to their cause, and euthanize the animals (so they don’t have to feed or house them,) than it is to take care of the animals and make sure they get homes. The whole business of the Animal Control industry is to make money! I know, I’ve helped find homes for these animals for years. I work with dozens of rescues, daily, to make sure that occurs, and I’ve watched and spoken to agencies, such as these, daily. They all cite the same…”It’s just an animal! It’s not like they’re human.”

    • Remember PETA got caught taking unwanted pets from vets promising to find them new homes and the bodies were actually dumped in dumpsters behind a strip mall.

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  • personally, I think that if you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, you should get a tax deduction for saving the public entity the cost of feeding and housing a stray.