ASPCA presents New York leaders with Humane Leadership Awards
New Yorkers concerned about animal welfare converged on the State Capitol in Albany for New York "Voices for Animals Day" on Wednesday to lobby for stronger state laws to protect pets across the state. "Voices for Animals Day" was sponsored by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the New York State Animal Protection Federation, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, and NYCLASS. It featured adoptable animals from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, along with a special appearance from Hudson, "The Railroad Puppy."
Citizen advocates met with their state legislators to lobby for animal protection bills to prohibit breed-discriminatory insurance policies, fund trap-neuter-return programs using revenues available through the state animal population control program, and require the NY-NJ Port Authority to accommodate pet owners and their pets on its trains during natural disaster evacuations.
Also at the event, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) received Humane Leadership Awards from the ASPCA in recognition of their commitment to animal welfare and work to increase protections for animals.
"The ASPCA thanks Gov. Cuomo, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, and New York lawmakers for making animals a priority in 2013," said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA government relations for the northeast region. "Working with citizen lobbyists, we look forward to helping New York lawmakers build on last year's successes, including the passage of a landmark bill that empowers municipalities to regulate pet dealers."
"I am excited to see so many animal lovers from across the state coming together to speak to our state legislators about the importance of protecting animals," said Brad Shear, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. "We often hear people calling for strong animal protection laws and this is a day when people who want action are doing something to make those laws a reality."
"We've already seen the fruits of the law that would regulate pet dealers," Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. "County legislatures and towns across the state are developing legislation to cut down on puppy mills and ease the burden these practices have on our local humane societies, animal shelters and animal welfare organizations."
"We raise a paw to Gov. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for their leadership in protecting New York's animals," said Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS.
In 2013, the ASPCA worked with New York lawmakers to expand protections for animals with the successful passage of three important animal welfare bills. The new laws authorized local governments to crack down on cruel and unscrupulous pet dealers, increased penalties for the intentional killing of police animals, and improved the manner in which animal abusers are required to pay for the cost of care for abused animals that have been seized in cruelty cases.
For more information on the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA "Advocacy Brigade," visit www.aspca.org.