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Friday, April 22, 2011

NY seeks to make homeless shelter dogs the official state dog

According to AP reports, Assembly Members Micah Kellner and Linda Rosenthal were promoting the proposal Thursday.Krellner's press release in support of the bill reads as follows:




The “New York State Rescue Dog” bill (A.6681) will serve as an important educational tool by generating awareness about the value of adopting rescued animals along with other important information for prospective pet owners like spaying and neutering pets, providing them with microchip identification implants, and providing responsible pet care. While New York State has an official bird, tree and flower, it currently doesn’t have an official dog. Other states, such as Massachusetts with their Boston terrier and Kentucky with their dachshund, have chosen specific breeds, but New York would be the first to designate a whole class of dogs.
“Unfortunately, some people perceive rescue animals as damaged. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of these dogs are healthy, well-behaved, and just in need of a loving home.” continued Assembly Member Kellner. “When my rescue dog bill becomes law, New York State will have to change its motto to: every dog has its day.”
According to a survey done in 2009 by the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 17 million Americans consider getting a pet every year. If only 20% of these people adopt a rescued pet, we could essentially end the killing of healthy and treatable animals in shelters. This could save tens of thousands of animals in New York alone.
“Naming the rescue dog as the official dog of New York State is an inspirational act,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “It truly puts the spotlight on the noble, patient and worthy dog who waits for the right person to come along and adopt him. Far too many dogs are euthanized in this city and state and I hope that drawing attention to the plight of the rescue dog will make that practice a thing of the past.”
“Animal Haven is pleased to support a bill that recognizes that rescued dogs can make the best pets,” said Jennifer Bristol, Director of Operations for Animal Haven – a nonprofit organization founded in 1967 that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the Tri-State area.
“We think Assembly Member Kellner’s Rescue Dog bill is a wonderful opportunity to bring the many wonderful dogs waiting for forever for homes in shelters and with rescue groups to the attention of people and families looking for a new four footed canine family member,” said Jane Hoffman of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals — a non-profit, public-private partnership of over 160 animal rescue groups and shelters working with the City of New York to end the killing of animals merely because they do not have homes.
“Best Friends Animal Society commends Assemblyman Kellner for bringing it to the attention of fellow New Yorkers that they don’t need to buy their four-legged family members in a pet store or online,” said Jamie Lyn Rubin of Best Friends. “This innovative bill highlights the amazing companion dogs in New York shelters who are just waiting to be adopted. Compassionate efforts such as Assemblyman Kellner’s bill will help bring us closer to the day when there are No More Homeless Pets.”
“I want to commend Assemblyman Kellner on behalf of all our rescue dogs for introducing legislation to make rescue dogs the official state dog of New York. Our rescue dogs have made a tremendous impact in our own lives and improved the lives of many in our community through their work as therapy dogs and humane educators” added Thaddeus Stringer, owner of Sarge Wolf-Stringer a 16 year old dog who was rescued at age 14 from an animal abuser and now advocates on behalf of rescue groups. “As proud New Yorkers we celebrate the diversity and opportunity our state provides. Our shelter dogs reflect that diversity and we thank Assemblyman Kellner for giving them the opportunities they deserve.”
If passed, the legislation will go into effect immediately. The bill will not cost the State any money, but through its message, could potentially end up saving localities money in the long run by reducing shelter and animal control costs, as more people turn to shelters for animals.
The bill is sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Joseph E. Robach (R-Rochester).

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