11th Hour Social Media Blitz to Fight for Shelter Pets’ Lives

On Wednesday February 15,  Assembly Bill A05449A will be introduced in the NY state Ag Committee.  This quick kill bill is expected to pass and we need to make our voices heard tonight to keep that from happening.  This quick kill bill is of immediate concern to NYers because it affects their community pets but it’s also very worrying for pet owners everywhere because it sets a legal precedent for more needless shelter pet killing.

And once again, it falls upon “the irresponsible public” to stand up for the lives of pets because the multi-million dollar animal welfare groups won’t do it.  Where is Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest group advocating for feral cats?  They should be mobilizing their forces in opposition to this bill which will legalize instant killing for every feral cat in NY.  Where is Best Friends?  They ask people to donate so there will be “no more homeless pets” but this bill might as well be named “no more living homeless pets”.  Why aren’t they mass e-mailing members to take action against this?  HSUS?  Tuh, I know better than to ask.  And of course ASPCA is the group that is leading the coalition to get the quick kill bill made into law.

It’s up to you and me.  Again.  No matter where you live, please take action and voice your opposition to the ASPCA’s quick kill bill.  Then pass this information on to your compassionate animal friends.  Every voice counts.

As always, please keep your comments respectful.

With permission, I am sharing Nathan Winograd’s most recent post on the subject, complete with action items, below.  This is the most succinct explanation I’ve seen.  If you aren’t familiar with the quick kill bill and need more information, there are links at the end.

From Nathan Winograd:

If the ASPCA and Assembly Member Amy Paulin get their way, feral cats and scared cats can be exterminated immediately on intake in New York State shelters.
The ASPCA is pushing legislation sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin that would allow New York State shelters to kill animals immediately if shelter staff determine that the animals are in “psychological pain.” There is no definition of what constitutes psychological pain and no standards to how it will be applied. For the first time anywhere in the U.S., shelters will be allowed to kill animals with no holding period of any time based on the animals’ perceived state of mind, giving regressive shelter bureaucrats unlimited discretion to immediately kill animals based on unenforceable, unknowable, and completely subjective criteria. Not only is this a real and immediate threat to shy and scared animals, as well as feral cats, but it is a very dangerous precedent to introduce in the animal control laws of our nation.

Whether you are from New York or not, please speak up for the animals:

  • Post comments to twitter: @aspca

Learn more:

Gone in 60 Seconds

The ASPCA Fights for More Shelter Killing in NY

53 thoughts on “11th Hour Social Media Blitz to Fight for Shelter Pets’ Lives

  1. There’s way more wrong with the bill that just the instant killing provision – although that is the most egregious. I wrote and called this morning.
    If you look online at the committee agenda the bill is not listed for tomorrow’s agenda, but don’t let that fool you – it’s up for action. The agenda posted on the internet is wrong. Funny about that.

    1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. This is absolutely shameful. We as a scoiety are better than this. We should not allow this to become the norm. This is never OK. We must do all we can to stop this!

  2. To be fair Best Friends has sent out a mass email urging its people to oppose this bill. I haven’t heard anything from Alley Cat Allies.

      1. I got the email about an hour ago – and it links to a page on their website that I have seen before but I don’t remember how long ago – I wrote directly to my congress people so I wasn’t going to go through those email generators. It could be that it only went out to NYers.

      2. They have an army of animal lovers at their e-mail disposal. They should have been sending out action alerts daily since this awful bill was made public – just like real no kill advocates have been doing (although those doing the work aren’t part of the millionaires club like BF).

      3. I have been very very lazy about clearing out my inbox and have let months of spam accumulate. When I get home I will see if I also kept the Best Friends notes and see if they said anything about this earlier because what they sent is so familiar I had to have seen it before. I think they have ways of only contacting people in different regions so it could be they are making this one NY specific since while people in other states can give their opinion the congress people really care about what NYers want.

      4. Alley Cat Allies has contacted the committee to oppose the bill. They posted about it on their Facebook page yesterday. I don’t know if they will be sending out an alert today.

        Best Friends has opposed the bill unless amended since it was drafted/introduced. THey also posted about it yesterday. My guess is they were hoping for amendments and didn’t get them so now at the last minute they have to publicly push opposition.

      5. Yes both came out with too little, too late face savers. Had they mobilized sooner, this dangerous bill might have been successfully sunk. But with their delays, it’s now advanced one step on the way to becoming law. Tragic.

    1. Only New Yorkers should be contacting legislators (they don’t care what out of state folk think, period). Anyone can contact the A and express their thoughts.

      New York residents should be contacting their representative AND the Agricultural committee with a cc to the author of the bill as a courtesy. They should ask them to oppose the bill in committee (even better if your representative is on that committee) and ask their representative to oppose the bill if it comes before the general assembly.

      If you live in New York, find your representative here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/.

      Ag committee members are here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/?sec=mem&id=2.

  3. Un-freakin-believable. Seriously, what kind of sick nut proposes legislation so that animals can be killed faster than they already are? And to know that the sick nut runs the most wealthy so called “humane” organization in America? It is enough to make my head explode at the sheer insanity.

  4. I got an email from Best Friends opposing this bill and said they have been in touch with Ms. Paulin urging her to withdraw the bill and close loopholes. They could be doing so much more, though. I’m shocked that Alley Cat Allies is mute on this issue.

    I read that the part about psychological pain will probably be taken out before the vote.

    I wrote on Paulin’s FB page and got a message that said my message would not go thru and to try again later. I can only assume that she’s getting blasted from all sides to drop this horrific bill.

      1. Urge Assembly members to Vote NO on A 5449 unless changes are made!
        Paulin’s Bill Has Serious Problems

        Take Action! Visit this page:

        The New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee will be voting on
        Bill A 5449 on Wednesday, Feb 15. Last year,Best Friends expressed our
        concerns about this bill, and presented recommended changes to
        Assemblywoman Paulin that would address serious problems in this
        legislation. These suggestions were not incorporated into the current
        version of A 5449. We have resubmitted these recommended changes and
        need your help to insure that they are included.

        Without the suggested changes, A 5449 would:

        Allow for the euthanizing of a frightened or panicked animal on the
        basis of “psychological pain,” which is too vague and
        subjective to be meaningful criteria for euthanasia.
        Allow animals to be euthanized for unspecified and undiagnosed
        “deadly and contagious” diseases.
        Not clearly define the requirements for a rescue organization to be
        maintained on a shelter’s registry of approved rescue organizations,
        which opens the door for arbitrary requirements subject to change
        without notice.
        Allow shelters to remove rescues from their registry of approved groups
        if a group is publicly critical of the shelter or staff, regardless of
        the merit of such criticism.
        Remove all protection for an animal that is surrendered to a shelter
        with an owner request that the animal be euthanized even if the animal
        is healthy and could be placed in a new adoptive home or with a rescue
        Not require shelters to include rescue organizations located in
        adjoining counties in New York state on the shelter’s registry of
        qualified rescue organizations.

        The recommended changes offered by Best Friends to Assemblywoman Paulin
        would close the holes in the safety net that this bill should be

        Please urge Committee Chair Magee and fellow members of the Assembly
        Agriculture Committee to vote NO on Bill A 5449 unless these changes
        are all incorporated. The welfare of shelter animals in New York
        depends on your action.

        Thank you for speaking out for the animals.

      2. Thanks Daniela. I hate to be Negative Nancy here but this is too little, too late. Good grief, this is the best they can come up with NOW? What about all the people who won’t read this e-mail immediately? It will be too late for them to take action by the time they get it. Did they intentionally wait to send it out until after the NY Assembly members were gone for the day?

    1. Apparently, the ASPCA & Paulin have decided against taking out the “psychological pain” language. The bill will proceed without any amendments.

      1. Do you know what the rationale behind passing this bill is, considering the huge public outcry against it? Are they claiming the public just doesn’t understand what it is about?

      2. If you follow the link and put in your zip code and then your address it will open a preprinted letter addressed to your congressperson. You can then add/delete anything from the letter and hit send. It does not allow you to write to all of the members of the committee – just the one that represents your area. It starts with

        “As a New Yorker, I am writing to alert you to my concern about Bill A 5449. This bill must not move forward unless certain crucial issues are addressed.”

        Which might be why noone else is seeing it.

  5. I know Alley Cat has been working on legislation in Virginia to protect TNR. There are some here in Virginia that want to prevent anything that helps feral cats. There is an important vote on Wed – they have been working to make sure the legislation passes.

      1. They have a whole lot of posts on their facebook asking them why they aren’t saying anything about this bill now. Wonder if they will address it or delete the posts.

  6. I hope this does not pass as dogs of my breed do not do well at all in shelters-too much barking. They would be put down instantly as they would be considered frightened, shy or unsocialized or perhaps all three.

    I am not in NY but I posted a comment several days ago on Amy Paulin’s facebook page but I had read today that no comments can now be posted because they are being blocked.

  7. This is absolutely ridiculous. Yes there are animals that sadly will always be feral and will not be able to placed in a home. But that does not give these people the right to decide the fate of an animal at their first encounter. What gives them the right to not give these cats a chance?! And to be able to kill a cat because it is scared… That is ridiculous. What if that is someone’s house cat that got loose and has never been outside before. These animals are takentoshelters to be given a chance, euthanizing them immediately

  8. This wrong. Animals would never do this to us. They are so loving and caring. Only people who dont have hearts or feelings would come up with this bill. I love animals would never put one down unless there was health issues that couldnt be resolved.
    I ended up with 6 precious cats because I could never be the judge of whether they live or die, who could????

  9. Does anyone know any upside to this terrible bill? All I can understand from it is the horrible downside – IMMEDIATE DEATH. Why would anyone vote YES on a bill all about killing animals? It boggles the mind!

    1. They posted it on Facebook late at night? …. and the night before the bill will be voted on? Shouldn’t they have been sending out Action Alerts to their members days ago like the true animal advocates have been doing? Seems like it is too little and too late to do any good (but I guess it wouldn’t piss off their cronies at the ASPCA this way). This seems more like just an “appearance” to the masses that they oppose it.

      I expected more considering their resources and reach, and considering that feral cats will be the animals killed first and most often if this horrible bill passes.

  10. Stop the Euthanasia Holocaust! A case in point…..

    A Brooklyn, NY woman who has been rescuing stray cats for much of her life is in NYC Housing Court and facing eviction along with her 43 rescued cats. If she is evicted, her cats will be taken to the City’s Animal Care & Control facility, where many otherwise adoptable cats may be needlessly euthanized. The Court is also bringing in Adult Protective Services to assess the situation, as it often does in alleged “animal hoarding” cases, and APS could request that AC&C take the cats even before they can be placed in no-kill shelters or adoptive homes.

    She is hoping to keep several of the cats that are too old or feral to be adoptable, and a few that are her personal pets, but the landlord is insisting that, because of her lease’s “no pet” clause, and despite her claim that he knew of at least some of her cats for more than a year, she can’t have any. A lawyer appointed by the court to oversee her compliance says that, under New York’s Pet Law, and even with the Federal entitlement to a companion animal for a person with a disability, she may, if she’s lucky, be allowed to keep only one cat.

    Many of these cats are young, some still kittens, and very adoptable. Some have been spayed or neutered, and a few have had shots, but there are others that still need these procedures. Some are older, some feral or skittish, and a few have health problems or disabilities, and these would most certainly be euthanized if sent to AC&C. One cruel irony here is that a cat she rescued from AC&C’s death row 15 years ago may again face the executioner’s needle simply because it is now too old to be adopted or adoptable.

    Most will need to be medically evaluated before they can be placed, and this is beyond her capability due to her low income, lack of personal transportation, and the pressures of time. She has just a few more days to place the cats before her next court appearance on February 16, although APS or another unwelcome intervention could come at any time, and, if she still has “too many” cats, they could take even the ones she wants to keep before that issue can be argued in court. In short, time is of the essence.

    If each animal rescuer, shelter, foster home, or other sanctuary reading this post can take just one or two cats, these defenseless animals can be saved from what is now an uncertain, and probably dire, fate. If you can’t accept even one cat, perhaps you can help with medical services, transportation, legal advocacy or advice, or simply by forwarding this plea to someone who may be able to help. She isn’t asking for money, as she has enough to pay her rent and feed her cats, but she does need to place the cats immediately or, at least, find the supports and services that will make immediate placement possible.

    If you need more information or wish to discuss this crisis further, please reply to this post, email me at ASKent@msn.com, or call me at one of the numbers below.. I know relatively little about the animal rescue community, so any information, advice, contact information, or links will be greatly appreciated. Even if the cats do end up at AC&C, I hope that this early warning will enable those of you who do rescue from AC&C to save as many of them as possible.

    Thank you so much for considering this request.

    Andrew Kent
    (347) 374-3903 – home
    (718) 791-3628 – cell
    (Both numbers have voicemail)

  11. I can’t believe that such a law can be passed. It’s a nightmare!!! This is a form of animal abuse!! How can the ASPCA be a part of fighting for the rights of animals and turn around and entertain the thought of killing an animal on what they would think is psychological pain. It’s just un-heard of.

  12. So I looked through my email – the site that Best Friends made to support CAARA is very similar to the one they made to not support this bill and that is why I thought I saw it somewhere before. They and Alley Cat Allies say that they have been working the political end of things, although I think they should have done a call to action through the people a lot sooner. I hope Amy Paulin is reading her facebook comments – she obviously didn’t read the bill she is proposing.

  13. Neighborhood Cats, a TNR group in NYC, is listing the names and email addresses of the co-sponsors of the Quick Kill Bill, so anyone emailing to protest should probably include those folks. They may be ostensibly only riding along, but ultimately it’s not just Amy Paulin that’s doing this.

    Note that there’s one inaccurate email address. Margaret Markey’s address should be:



  14. And through all of this, ASPCA continues to run their pitiful animal commercials, and whiny Sarah McLachlan continues to sing her sappy song and plead for money FOR the animals. FOR what? more euthanizing drugs?

  15. Through the grapevine – supposedly from a lobbyist who attended the meeting. It was not in the assembly, it was in the Ag committee. It should now go to the Codes committee. From there, if it passes out of committee, it will go to the Assembly. So start working on the Codes committee to have it held in committee.

    1. the link I was following is for this:


      Wednesday February 15,2012
      09:00 AM–AGRICULTURE (MAGEE) Room 829 LOB
      Assembly Print:

      Maybe it is just slow to update.

      1. For clarification, is anyone free at the moment to call Amy Paulin’s office (914-723-1115) and ask the status of the quick kill bill? If not, I’m sure it will be clarified soon. Lots of watchers.

      2. On the phone with her office now. Having a very interesting conversation. Will recap when off the phone.

  16. I am going to post my conversation here since the other threads are getting long. The bill has been passed in the committee and is moving on to the next stage. The assistant I talked to was very nice – when I asked what the status was she asked if I wanted to talk about it. I told her I was opposed to it and she said she has only been hearing from people opposed to the bill. There have also been death threats so she has the door locked – I can’t blame her on this one. In talking to the assistant I do not think they understand the mentality of the kill shelter. They are in an area where their shelter is no kill and does everything it can to reunite owners and their lost pets and try to get them homes. They have the “if practicable” language in there because it seems like they think that it is unrealistic to give a time frame – like 4 hours within intake. Personally I would be happy with “must scan for microchip before bringing to the kill room” as long as it guarantees the animal will be scanned at least once in its stay.

    They also claim the ability to kill in 60 seconds is not in the bill. I am not a lawyer and have not read the full bill so I do not know if that provision is in there specifically or not but since so many people are pointing it out some language in there must something there that leads people to believe that an animal could be killed immediately. She is also claiming that shelters will not kill animals just for whining or being scared – I think she is naive on what kill shelters actually do.

    It seems like Amy Paulin really does want to do what is best for the animals but she is not aware of the actual implications of this bill. I asked why she doesn’t support CAARA and I was told that they don’t support it because they do not believe it will be passed because the shelters do not have the ability to do what is in the bill. They did acknowledge that the CAARA bill is the better bill but they feel that they have to go with “makes better” because CAARA will never get out of committee.

    I asked about the word “practicable” and was told every piece of legislation has that in there and it’s just there so that shelters without the means to do so are okay. Again I think she is very naive in the mentality of kill shelters and what they can do and what they want to do and what they will do. I did talk to her about the horrors in NYACC – seems like many people are complaining specifically about NYACC.

    She did say that most likely they will be making amendments to the bill and they are considering taking out the psychological pain parts. I asked if she would consider working with Best Friends and Alley Cat Allies to help reword and she had never heard of Best Friends – apparently the assistant who helped with this bill moved on so this assistant is not 100% up to speed on who helped where. She did take down their names and what they do so hopefully that means they are willing to accept more discussion about this bill. She did say that she worked with rescues and shelters to get this bill where it was but I refrained from asking her who she worked with besides the ASPCA – mainly cause I didn’t think I could keep a civil tongue in my mouth and I also didn’t think she could tell me that.

    Small recap – Amy does believe she is doing the best for the animals – she really thinks it will improve the lives of the animals in shelters in NY. She thinks this is a stepping stone to better legisation as she does not thing CAARA can be passed at this time. This is supposed to help create a bridge to when CAARA can be passed. I doubt she has ever worked with a rescue and seen the conditions of a kill shelter so is naive on what the mentality of the people there is. She thinking that animals cannot be killed within 60 seconds for being in psychological distress – she seems to think the holding period would stop that. She also sounds like she might be willing to work with other organizations to help fix this bill

    I have gathered all my knowledge of this bill from all the websites that discuss what this bill means. If some of the people that read and understand the full bill want to contact her they might have a more meaningful conversation with her. I ended the call with us agreeing to disagree on the effects of the bill.

    I spent about 20 – 30 min talking to her so if you want any specifics let me know.

  17. Ending up in a shelter can be a terrifying experience for an animal. A loving family pet separated from its owners by accident or tragedy can act shy or spooked around strangers in an unfamiliar environment. Instant killing is a bad idea!

  18. you can tell a lot about a person or society by the way it treats the beings it doesn’t think it has to treat well
    life has value beyond measure
    Peace and Love

  19. This is appalling, to kill an animal simply because it is scared and in a new situation…..might as well start killing new born babies because they cry……….what that offended someone? Look at it like that and you will see that this makes no sense, and like a new born infant, an animal can not adequately express fear, or pain of the heart, so it will scream and hiss. A new born baby will cry because it can not tell you it is hungry, or needs its diaper changed…….a scared cat will hiss and bite you and scratch at you because it can not say, “Hey asshole, you are dumping me here in a scary and loud place, I am not sure of this being in a cage thing, this sucks”. So kill the babies for crying and kill the animals for being animals…..we will be left with a sad and lonely world.
    (Sorry for offending, I really do not want anything to be killed, I love animals and babies, and would not enjoy seeing either harmed in any way shape or form–but this law, to me, is like murdering an infant for the crime of crying)

  20. I wrote to them, even though I am from out of state. Just look up NY zipcodes and bam. I doubt they will care to look it up. More people writting on this, the better.

    Anyway, this is such a disgusting bill. Even if they dont want shelters keeping animals (i.e. no-kill) because then there are less of them in their shelters, why would they want to kill all their animals until they have none? Do they figure that puppy mills will always supply it, so it doesnt matter? Are they in cahoots? I think Im going to be sick.

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