The 1999 NYC Spay/Neuter LawPassing a spay/neuter law is a crucial part of a comprehensive program to reduce unwanted animals and toward a goal of a no-kill city.
Councilmember Kathryn Freed (D-Manhattan) introduced a bill in the NY City Council more than three years ago (Intro. 321) to require all dogs and cats in NYC to be spayed or neutered. The bill languished in the City Council without movement toward passage due to ASPCA opposition and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone's feeling that it discriminated against poor people.
SRAC got involved and worked with Councilmember Freed to re-write the bill to satisfy the shortcomings stated by the powers that be and in January, Intro. 456 was introduced. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS BILL BY CONTACTING THESE CITY OFFICIALS:
New York City Council
New York, NY 10007
tel. (212) 788-7210
fax (212) 788-7207
Bruce Bender, chief of staff
NY City Council
250 Broadway, 22nd fl.
New York, NY 10007
tel (212) 788-6856
fax (212) 788-9758
George Gonzales, chief of staff
New York City Council member
51 Chambers Street
NY NY 10007
tel. (212) 788-7722
fax (212) 788-7727
Maria Bottino, legislative aid
The complete text of the bill follows. (Note: While a $35 penality does not satisfy SRAC (it was imposed by the ASPCA who we believe needs to appease the breeding industry), we were assured that such fee can be raised later if there is enough support for it.) Now let's get it passed and signed into law!
Intro. No. 456
By Council Member Kathryn Freed
A LOCAL LAW
To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the establishment of low-cost clinics for the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Legislative findings. The Council hereby finds that the serious overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats in New York City is a matter of vital concern affecting the public health, safety and welfare of all New Yorkers. The regulation of the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats is necessary in order to reduce the overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats which is creating a potentially unhealthy and dangerous situation. It is estimated by advocates for the humane treatment of animals that between forty and fifty thousand unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized each year at animal shelters in New York City. Additionally, many thousands of dogs and cats, reproducing at alarming rates, wander our city streets. Many of these animals are suffering from exposure to the elements, lack of food and water, and injuries resulting from accidents and mistreatment. Dog packs are threatening some of our neighborhoods, the incidence of dog bites has increased, rabies is reportedly on the increase, and vehicular accidents in which these animals are injured are frequent. Given the large number of unwanted dogs and cats and the likelihood of an increase in their numbers absent a spay/neuter law, the Council believes that this local law providing for the establishment of low-cost spay/neuter clinics is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of City residents.
Section 2. Chapter 3 of title 17 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding thereto a new subchapter 7, to follow subchapter 6, to read as follows:
DOG AND CAT OVERPOPULATION CONTROL LAW
Section 17-355. Short title
Section 17-356. Spaying and neutering requirements; unaltered animals permit required
Section 17-357. Unaltered animal permit fees
Section 17-358. Dog and cat overpopulation control fund
Section 17-359. Rules
Section 17-360. Enforcement
Section 17-361. Request for proposals; contracts to operate low-cost spay/neuter clinics
Section 17-355. Short title. This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Dog and Cat Overpopulation Control Law."
Section 17-356. Spaying and neutering requirements; unaltered animals permit required. No person shall own or harbor any dog or cat over the age of six months that has not been spayed or neutered unless such person holds an unaltered animal permit issued for such animal by the department of health, or any successor agency authorized by law to issue such a permit, except: (i) persons who own or harbor guide dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs or police work dogs, as such terms are defined in section 108 of the agriculture and markets law; (ii) individuals who are non-residents of the city New York and reside temporarily therein for a period not to exceed thirty days; (iii) animal shelters, veterinary hospitals and colleges and research institutions that harbor dogs and cats for the purpose of humane research; and (iv) persons who own or harbor a dog or cat and who are in possession of a certification signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that such animal is unfit to be spayed or neutered because such procedure would endanger the life of such animal.
Section 17-357. Unaltered animal permit fees. The annual fee for an unaltered animal permit shall be thirty-five dollars.
Section 17-358. Dog and cat overpopulation control fund. a. Permit fees and penalties collected by the department of health pursuant to this subchapter shall be placed in a special fund to be known as the dog and cat overpopulation control fund and used exclusively for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter by the department and its designees. Any penalties not used for these purposes shall be used for: (i) the low-cost spaying and neutering of dogs and cats owned or harbored by low-income residents or senior citizens; (ii) for public education programs to prevent the overpopulation of dogs and cats; and (iii) for public education programs to encourage licensing and the responsible treatment of such animals. In addition, other tax levy funds may be allocated in the expense budget of the city, and the city may accept funds from any public or private source, for such low-cost spaying and neutering and public education programs.
b. For the purposes of subdivision a of this section: 1. the term "low income residents" shall mean those persons and families whose incomes do not exceed eighty percent of the median income for the New York city metropolitan statistical area; and 2. the term "senior citizens" shall mean persons 65 years of age or older.
Section 17-359. Rules. Within ninety days after the effective date of this section, the commissioner shall promulgate such rules and prescribe such forms as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter.
Section 17-360. Enforcement. a. This subchapter shall be enforced by the department, such other persons as may be designated by the commissioner, and by any other agency as may be authorized by law.
b. Any person who violates section 17-356 of this subchapter shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less then fifty dollars for a first violation and shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each subsequent violation. Any proceeding brought under this subchapter to impose a civil penalty shall be adjudicated before the administrative tribunal established by the board of health.
c. The department may dismiss a violation of section 17-356 of this subchapter where the person issued such violation demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the dog or cat which was the subject of the violation was spayed or neutered within thirty days after the issuance of the violation or within ninety days after giving birth for those dogs or cats which were pregnant when the violation was issued.
Section 17-361. Request for proposals; contracts to operate low-cost spay/neuter clinics. a. Within sixty days of the effective date of this section, the commissioner shall issue a request for proposals soliciting proposals from organizations for the humane treatment of animals and/or licensed veterinarians to operate one or more low-cost spay/neuter clinics in each borough.
b. Within thirty days of the effective date of this section, the commissioner shall appoint a spay/neuter advisory council and shall consult with such advisory council in the preparation and dissemination of the request for proposals required by subdivision a of this section and in the evaluation of responses to such request for proposals. Such advisory council shall be composed of eleven members and shall represent advocates for the humane treatment of animals and veterinarians from throughout the city. Members of such advisory council shall not receive compensation for service thereon.
c. Within 120 days of the effective date of this section, the commissioner shall select one or more organizations or veterinarians, evaluated as qualified from those responding to such request for proposals, to operate low-cost spay neuter clinics. At least one such clinic shall be located in each borough.
Section 3. This local law shall take effect 120 days after its enactment into law, except that section 17-361 of the administrative code of the city of New York as added by section two of this local law shall take effect immediately, but the commissioner shall take such actions as are necessary for the implementation of this local law prior to such effective dates.