Bringing Up from the Comments

Reader Daniela spoke with an aide in NYS assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s office this morning regarding the Quick Kill bill.  Here is Daniela’s summary of the conversation.  Interesting to note that Amy Paulin’s aide has never heard of Best Friends:

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.

33 thoughts on “Bringing Up from the Comments

  1. Most likely, Amy Paulin thinks that if the ASPCA wrote the bill then it MUST be in the best interest of animals. Because like most people, she probably mistakenly thinks the ASPCA is actually interested in saving animals. Perhaps people need to let her know that the ASPCA is only interested in animals as fund-raising tools, and that because actually keeping themalive, finding their owners or getting them adopted out costs money, the ASPCA prefers to kill the actual animal. After all, it’s the pathetic picture of the poor thing suffering and scared that they really want, because that’s what opens up the checkbooks. Once they’ve got the photo they want to be allowed to get that animal into the dumpster as quickly as possible.

  2. I’m sorry, but being naive is no excuse – nor is listening to the people that put you in office. Minimally with all the public comments against, she should have tabled the bill for more consideration and DONE HER RESEARCH.

  3. Amy Paulin historically will do whatever ASPCA tells her. Her record of animal-related bills is abysmal. If Paulin presents a bill relating to animals you can be sure ASPCA wrote it. She is deep in their pocket and has never had an original thought of her own.

    5449 has been referred to Codes.

    In NY bills must pass in the Assembly and a companion bill must also pass in the Senate before they have a chance of becoming law. The companion bill is still in the Senate Agriculture committee. http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=S+5433-A&term=2011&Summary=Y&Actions=Y With a little work maybe it can be stopped there.

    Daniela, the language in the bill is something like an animal can be killed WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE MANDATORY HOLDING PERIOD if it is considered to be suffering from a contagious disease which MAY be deadly to other animals or irremediable psychological pain. There is no “60 seconds” in the language of the bill – but there is nothing to stop an intake person from saying “that cat sneezed – kill it” or “that dog is whining and shivering, it is obviously overstressed – kill it”. Supposedly a vet will be consulted.

    If you know the history of the bill and read the language carefully, it is obvious that it was written only to allow ASPCA to continue business as usual. For example, they can refuse to approve a rescue that has disagreed with them in the past.

      1. If a committee member is your representative, then yes – contact them. My own personal representative on the Ag committee pretty much ignored the huge mass of negative input he got on 5449 because it almost all came from downstate, so that negative outpouring was not helpful in that case. I may have been the only actual constituent who contacted him and I got lost in the mix.

        Each committee has its own research staff. I would start by contacting the committee staff person and find out how to send them information they can include in the research materials they provide to the committee members before they vote.

    1. That’s where I floundered because I was not knowledgeable about the specifics of the bill to counter her arguments. Someone who really knows the bill would be better to call and talk to her – if you think that would help. At this point it might just be best to move on to the other committees to stop it there. How do we find out who is on the codes committee? Kevin Cahill is my rep and I don’t know if he is involved in any of these committees.

  4. Sorry – yes. Both Assembly Codes committee and Senate Ag committee should be targeted. But I would first try to get info into the research materials they are provided rather than contacting each member individually at this point.

  5. I would like to thank Daniela for making the conversation public. I’m not very familiar with the process in NY but I think it would be helpful to have a list of people from the Committee, perhaps with e-mail addresses? Would somebody be able to compile such a list?

  6. Just saw the Senate version of this bill, which is co-sponsored by Senator Maziarz, who has been a strong advocate for bringing the No Kill Equation to Niagara County NY. We will be contacting him immediately about our concerns on this bill.

  7. http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/?sec=mem&id=7
    That is the link to the members of the Assembly Codes committee

    http://www.nysenate.gov/committee/agriculture
    There is a box on the left of the page that has links to the Senate Ag committee members.

    As to how to get info to the committee research staff, contact the committee itself, usually via a staffer in the Chairman’s office. If you tell them you would like to provide them with a position paper, they will tell you how to flag it so that it is read and included.

  8. The ASPCA’s bill passed the AG committee last night. Now it has to go through more debate in different committee’s (I forget which). But this looks just about as bad as it did for Oreo’s Law. The problem being that the “A” has so much lobbying money. The only way to move this in the right direction, imho, is to have a day when every single rescue in NYS converges on the NYS Senate and Assembly, and try to confront the lobbying $$ with our bodies.

    1. That would be incredible, Morgana. Clearly, members of the legislature have no idea how animal shelters actually work, and the ASPCA certainly isn’t going to tell them. Only the rescue community can convey the brutality that this legislation codifies.

      Those in the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals would risk losing their pull privileges at NYACC, and I’m assuming that rescues in many other parts of the state would run the same risk relative to their own shelters. But that would be part of the story they would tell.

  9. I wrote disapproving letters for over 6 hours to everyone involved & some who weren’t. I also mentioned, if the Bill were passed I will make it my personal obligation to do everything possible to block Amy Paulin’s re-election for her sponsoring the Bill.

    Any further writing campaigns will include me.

  10. Oh, and the word “practicable” – not every piece of legislation has that in it. It’s not anywhere in the CAARA version of this legislation. Winograd’s right when he says ASPCA put it in there so they could just ignore those parts of the law. Every place where there is something they don’t want to do the word pops up. The staffer is just as ignorant as her boss. Naive does not apply here. Stupid and venal are the words you are looking for.

    1. Although the one down in FL who thought animal husbandry referred to having sex with animals runs a close second.

  11. Oh another point. They won’t be making any amendments to the bill now that it has passed the Ag committee. I believe if they make changes it will get kicked back to Ag, so they’re not going to be changing anything. That staffer was lying through her teeth.

    1. Oh that’s nice – she was saying that she thinks they will be removing the psychological pain part since that seems to be where most of the objections are coming from. She said it would be going though many more reviews and votes.

      You would think that if you only hear from people opposed to the bill that you might want to sit down and really think about if you want to keep championing it.

      Oh – one thing I forgot to mention – Amy Paulin is upset that this is being called a quick kill bill because she thinks that is disingenuous. I wonder how her reelection campaign is going to go. ASPCA can give her lots of money, but she still have to get those votes.

      1. That was one of the points in the conversation that I wished I had a copy of the bill open to the part that allows for the quick kill open so I could read it out loud and tell her that is why it is being called quick kill. By the end of the conversation I did think that it would take a lot to change her mind and convince her this bill is not the salvation she thinks it is. But I really did get the feeling that she isn’t lying or twisting words – that she really believes this will help animals. I don’t know if Amy Paulin is the same, or if she knows its bullshit and doesn’t care. But I am guessing at this point it doesn’t matter. Amy Paulin has made her stand and it is time to move on to the next group that can stop it.

      2. Whenever I talk to someone in a politician’s office I always come away feeling they understood the points I was trying to make, they’ll give it serious consideration and they really like me. Then I take a shower with bleach.

      3. Disingenuous, huh? I was at my local shelter/impounding agency (which is no-kill by the way) last weekend and I mentioned this to the shelter manager because I wanted her take on it. I gave her the language as it is in the bill and she looked at me in horror and said, “well that’s just a license for them to keep on killing. When did you ever see an animal brought in that was not suffering severe psychological stress?”

        Paulin lies. And she either lies to her staff or surrounds herself with people who will lie for her. She has done it for years and I cannot understand how she keeps getting elected.

      4. This was my first time talking to a politician and I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  12. I just got an email from an animal advocate that says:

    Dear Animal Advocates,

    I called and spoke with the office of Codes Chairman Joe Lentol, re the Paulin bill. That bill has been passed out of the Ag Committee and now goes to the Codes Committee. I have been told that he is a big animal lover, has several rescued pets himself and that the Paulin bill is not certain to be passed out of that committee (we hope and pray). In the meantime, it has been suggested that we “send love bombs to Lentol. He has rescued pets. Thank him for being a true friend of the animals and explain your concerns with the ASPCA/Paulin bill. Also, let him know that you support A07312 (Kellner).

    Here is a sample letter that you can modify/send to Chairman Lentol:

    lentolj@assembly.state.ny.us;

    Dear Chairman Lentol,

    I am writing to you to as someone I know loves and cares about animals and especially those
    who are being senselessly killed in shelters and pounds in NYC and throughout the state.

    For this reason, I want to urge a NO vote on A05449, the bill by Amy Paulin that
    would roll back the clock for shelter animals and give shelters the power
    to continue killing in the face of readily available lifesaving
    alternatives. Best Friends Animal Society has joined the thousands of voices
    of animal advocates in New York and around the country, who are outraged by an unconscionable
    piece of legislation that will do more harm than good. see:”New York: Competing Shelter Reform Bills Not Created Equal.” http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2012/02/14/new-york-competing-shelter-reform-bills-not-created-equal

    A05449 allows shelters to kill animals who they claim are in
    “psychological pain” immediately on intake, a death sentence for shy
    puppies, feral cats, and a whole host of other animals who need time to
    acclimate to the shelter environment currently provided by the holding
    period, but which would be eliminated under the Paulin bill.

    Moreover, while suggesting rescue groups will have access to animals that
    shelters have scheduled to be killed, the bill gives those shelters the
    power to refuse to work with rescue groups under a wide range of
    unenforceable criteria, essentially codifying a power they already have.
    The bill gives shelters the power not to work with rescue groups in
    neighboring counties, if shelters determine rescue groups are “unfit,” or
    if the rescue groups have been critical of the shelter.

    In New York City, for example, rescue groups that have openly lobbied for
    improved conditions have had their ability to save animals revoked, a
    violation of their First Amendment rights. Under Paulin’s bill, the
    shelters could label these rescue groups “abusive” and deny them the
    ability to save lives. In addition, any purported improvements, like
    scanning for microchips or posting animals online, only have to happen if
    the shelter determines doing so is “practicable.”

    We want real reform in New York State, not Orwellian bills that promise
    one thing, while they do another. If you read the bill you’ll see that what
    the bill promises in its summary is not what it delivers in its mandates.

    Please vote NO on the Paulin bill. And please bring A07312 (Kellner) to
    vote instead. The animals and the animal loving public will be forever in your debt.

    Sincerely,
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    You may also want to drop a thank you note to the 5 assembly members of the Ag Committee who voted against the horrible ASPCA/Paulin bill ;here’s the list of the 5 people who voted NO on A5449-A in Committee:-Gunter-Maisel-Rosenthal-Simanowitz-Butler and a sample “Thank you” to send them.
    butlerm@assembly.state.ny.us;gunthera@assembly.state.ny.us;maisela@assembly.state.ny.us;
    rosenthall@assembly.state.ny.us;simanowitzm@assembly.state.ny.us;

    Dear Assembly member,

    We want to send you our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for listening to reason and to the voice of thousands of animal lovers, rescues, and animal advocates who wrote to you and called your offices to express grave concerns about A5449, a bill that has been condemned by concerned taxpayers/voters and those who care about the fate of animals entering our shelter system, as well as one of the most credible and renowned voices for abandoned animals in our country, Best Friends Animal Society.

    Although the bill passed the Agriculture Committee, we want to thank you for your compassion and common sense and urge you to support A07312 (Kellner) which is also endorsed by Best Friends.

    We send you all our very best wishes on behalf of the voiceless animals who cannot speak for themselves.

    Sincerely,

  13. Joseph Lentol, the chairperson of the Codes Committee, says he does not intend to report this bill at this time. Can he just kill it, or does he voice his opposition to it and then the committee still has to vote on it? It looks like they will be reworking – ASPCA says they are working with Amy Paulin to amend the bill. I still plan on contacting my representatives to tell them to support CAARA and not support Quick Kill in any form. Here is the note by Joseph Lentol:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/joseph-lentol/a-note-regarding-nys-assembly-bill-a5449a/10150540934900069?notif_t=note_reply

    1. If I understand right, Lentol would keep the bill from getting on the Codes Committee schedule in order to prevent it from advancing. However, that’s just a temporary stay of execution. According to Nathan Winograd’s FB page, the ASPCA is going to try to do an end run around the Codes Committee and force the legislation to a floor vote. So it’s not even remotely over . . . and I don’t actually believe they will amend the bill in any acceptable way. Apparently there will be alerts in the coming days.

  14. Can someone explain what the difference between a co-sponsor and a multi-sponsor of a bill is? Internet searches don’t show there is a difference but there are 9 co-sponsors and 8 multi-sponsors. I looked at previous bills and people added themselves as co-sponsors and multi-sponsors after the bill was introduced so there has to be some difference – even if it is small. My rep is listed as multi-sponsor so I want to be accurate when I request he pull his name.

  15. Thanks to Addy for the sample letters. They always help a ton.

    I wrote on Ms Paulins wall for Facebook, but Im sure it will be blocked. It says she has 600 comments but you can only see 3 of them, and all 3 are nice. Im guessing she deleted the other 597 comments. If you have that many people commenting you in a negative way, you should probably do some more thinking about what youre doing.

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