New York City Council Header
File #: Int 1502-2019    Version: * Name: Welfare of shelter animals.
Type: Introduction Status: Laid Over in Committee
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 4/9/2019
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the welfare of shelter animals
Sponsors: Robert F. Holden, Francisco P. Moya, Antonio Reynoso, Fernando Cabrera , Barry S. Grodenchik, Alan N. Maisel, Ben Kallos, Donovan J. Richards
Council Member Sponsors: 8
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to report information concerning the conditions of euthanized shelter animals, the specific reason each such animal is euthanized, and the efforts made by animal shelters to avoid such disposition. This bill would also create a task force that would include member representatives from the City’s community of animal welfare advocates for the purpose of developing and recommending animal shelter best practices to promote the welfare of shelter animals.
Indexes: Sunset Date Applies
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1502, 2. Int. No. 1502, 3. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 4-9-19, 4. Committee Report 6/18/19, 5. Hearing Testimony 6/18/19, 6. Hearing Transcript 6/18/19, 7. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - April 9, 2019
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
6/18/2019*Robert F. Holden Committee on Health Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/18/2019*Robert F. Holden Committee on Health Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/9/2019*Robert F. Holden City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/9/2019*Robert F. Holden City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Int. No. 1502

 

By Council Members Holden, Moya, Reynoso, Cabrera, Grodenchik, Maisel, Kallos and Richards

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the welfare of shelter animals

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Section 17-805 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended by local law number 59 for the year 2011, is amended to read as follows:

§ 17-805 Reporting requirements. The department shall provide the mayor and the city council with a report by February [twenty-eight] 28 of each year which shall set forth information regarding the management and operation of all full-service shelters performing services pursuant to a contract with the city [of New York], including but not limited to:

a. The following information with respect to the previous calendar year:

(1) [the] The total number of animals accepted by each full-service shelter;

(2) [the] The total number of animals that were sterilized at each full-service shelter;

(3) [the] The total number of animals that were [humanely] euthanized at each full-service shelter;

(4) [the] The total number of healthy animals that were [humanely] euthanized at each full-service shelter;

(5) [the] The total number of animals that were adopted at each full-service shelter;

(6) [the] The total number of animals at each full-service shelter that were returned to their [owner] respective owners; and

(7) [the] The total number of animals at each full-service shelter that were provided to other shelters for adoption.

b. The following information for each month of the previous calendar year:

(1) [the] The total number of animals, disaggregated by borough, picked up by field services during regular business hours and delivered to (A) receiving facilities and (B) full-service shelters;

(2) [the] The total number of animals, disaggregated by borough, picked up by field services during off hours and delivered to (A) receiving facilities and (B) full-service shelters;

(3) [the] The total number of animals taken in and transferred to a full-service shelter from each receiving facility; and

(4) [the] The staffing levels at all full-service shelters and receiving facilities.

c. The department shall report to the mayor and the council each month the following information:

(1) The total number of healthy animals that were [humanely] euthanized at each full-service shelter during the previous month[.] and, for every animal euthanized, whether healthy or otherwise:

(a) The specific health, behavioral or other issue that was the basis for euthanasia;

(b) The relevant credentials and qualifications of any person who evaluated or assessed the animal’s condition and whose diagnosis, findings or opinion was relied upon in making a determination to euthanize the animal;

(c) The nature of any evaluation, test or assessment performed to assess the animal’s condition in determining whether to euthanize such animal, and the results or findings of any such evaluation, test or assessment, including the prognosis and treatment of any diagnosed condition;

(d) Whether, at the time of euthanasia, any empty cages, kennels or other living environments were available for the animal in the shelter, whether there was additional room to set up temporary cages, kennels or living environments for the animal in the shelter and whether the animal was determined unable to share a cage or kennel with another animal, as well as the basis for that determination;

(e) Whether the shelter made efforts to release the animal to another pound, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated animal protective association, or to a person for the purpose of adoption, a detailed summary of those efforts, and the reason why such efforts did not result in release or adoption;

(f) Whenever practicable, the species, breed, sex, age and name of such animal.

(2) The information required by this subdivision shall be posted on the department’s website no later than ten days after the last day of the month for which the information is required to be reported or upon submission to the mayor and the council of a report containing the information, whichever is earlier.

[d. No later than twenty-four months after the effective date of the local law that added this subdivision, the department shall provide to the mayor and the council a report that summarizes and describes trends in the reporting requirements provided annually in accordance with this section.]

§ 3. Chapter 8 of title 17 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 17-816 to read as follows:

§ 17-816 Shelter task force. a. There shall be a task force to develop best practices for animal shelters to promote the welfare of animals housed in such shelters.

b. The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee; 

(2) One member appointed by the mayor;

(3) One member appointed by the speaker of the council;

(4) One member appointed by the comptroller;

(5) One representative from each not-for-profit organization operating an animal shelter on the effective date of the local law that added this section;

(6) Seven persons appointed by the mayor to represent the city community of animal welfare advocates, three of whom must represent an animal rescue group, and all of whom must hold demonstrated expertise or experience in companion animal welfare issues. In appointing such persons, the mayor shall make best efforts to select persons who collectively represent a diversity of perspectives to promote a robust dialogue within the task force.

c. The task force shall select a chair by majority vote. The chair shall set the agenda for meetings.

d. The task force shall review the practices of all animal shelters in operation prior to the expiration of this section to identify opportunities to improve the conditions for, and of, animals housed in such shelters, including, but not limited to, reducing the spread of disease or other ailments among such animals, providing competent behavioral evaluations and medical screening for such animals, and that all animals with diagnosed conditions susceptible of rehabilitation or treatment receive such rehabilitation or treatment, as necessary. Upon completing its review, the task force shall develop best practices for animal shelters, to be submitted as recommendations to the department. In developing best practices, the task force shall prioritize the ultimate goal of adoption for all animals whenever possible, and shall explore all humane alternatives to euthanasia for animals for which adoption may not be realized. The task force shall identify legal barriers to implementing best practices. The task force shall estimate the amount of additional funding required to implement such practices, and shall denominate priorities among such practices, giving primary consideration to those practices that are identified as holding the greatest potential for improving the welfare of animals housed in shelters. Where members fundamentally disagree with respect to the recommendation of any practice, such disagreement shall be identified in the report required by subdivision g of this section, and the reason for such disagreement shall be explained in detail.

e. The task force shall take any measures necessary and appropriate to obtain information that is relevant to carrying out the tasks set forth in subdivision d of this section, including, but not limited to, consulting with experts.

f. The task force shall meet no later than 15 days after the effective date of the local law that added this section, and after such meeting shall meet no less than once every 60 days until the submission of the report required by subdivision g of this section.

g. No later than 365 days after the first meeting of the task force, the task force shall submit to the mayor, the speaker of the council and the commissioner a report that contains its findings and conclusions, including the best practices as required by subdivision d of this section, and any additional recommendations for policy or legislation that would aid the implementation of such practices. The commissioner shall post such report on the department’s website upon submission.

h. This section expires and is deemed repealed after the submission of the report required by subdivision g of this section.

§ 4. This local law takes effect 90 days after it becomes law.

 

NC

LS #8383

3/7/19