|SAME AS||No Same As|
|MLTSPNSR||Butler, Cusick, Englebright, Kavanagh, Lupardo, Markey|
|Add S353-g, amd S374, Ag & Mkts L|
|Creates the crime of companion animal hoarding.|
|01/08/2015||referred to agriculture|
|01/06/2016||referred to agriculture|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1265 SPONSOR: Cahill (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to companion animal hoarding     PURPOSE: This bill would create a violation of companion animal hoard- ing, which is defined as neglect in terms of their surrounding environ- ment and a lack of care. The bill further allows a court to order mental health examinations and prohibit possession of such animals as penal- ties.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Adds a new section 353-f to the agriculture and markets law; amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 8 of section 374 of the agriculture and markets law.   JUSTIFICATION: Across the country, there is an increasing cases where large numbers of companion animals are seized from individuals who lack the ability to provide them with the basics of life, clean place to live, adequate food and water, and necessary veterinary care. The living conditions in many of these cases are not just marginal-frequently they fall well below accepted standards for either companion animals or human beings. Severe overcrowding, excessive feces, dirt, garbage, dangerous levels of ammonia from urine-saturated surfaces, animals that plainly suffer from parasite infestation, upper respiratory infections, and other ailments and owners or custodians that neither fully recognize nor are capable of remedying the situation. Sadly, these companion animal "hoarding" cases are also frequently accompanied by self neglect and neglect of other people living in the household-particularly children and the elderly. When authorities do intervene, the cost--in terms of other animal suffering and government expenditure--is substantial. Animals removed from hoarding situations are often too debilitated, sick or injured to be helped, when they are able to be rehabilitated, the cost of housing, food, and veterinary care can be extremely high. States around the country are responding to companion animal hoarding with legislation that gives law enforcement the tools it needs for early intervention before the situation becomes a full-blown cruelty case. This legislation defines companion animal hoarding, makes provision for seizure of animals and requires that those deemed boarders are evaluated to determine whether they can receive services to assist them with their problem. Provision is made for covering the cost of caring for animals' seized in hoarding cases and to ensure that those determined to be hoarders do not have custody of companion animals for a period of time that the sentencing court deems reasonable and appropriate.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-2014: A.1466 - Referred to Agriculture 2011-2012: A.191 - Referred to Agriculture 2009-2010: A.592-A Referred to Agriculture 2007-2008: A.9345 Referred to Agriculture 2005-2006: A.7572 Referred to Agriculture   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1265 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 8, 2015 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. CAHILL -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BUTLER, CUSICK, ENGLEBRIGHT, KAVANAGH, LUPARDO, MARKEY -- read once and referred to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to compan- ion animal hoarding The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Legislative intent. Across the country, there is an 2 increasing incidence of cases where large numbers of companion animals 3 are seized from individuals who lack the ability to provide them with 4 the basics of life - clean place to live, adequate food and water and 5 necessary veterinary care. The living conditions in many of these cases 6 are not just marginal - frequently they fall well below accepted stand- 7 ards for either companion animals or human beings. Severe overcrowding, 8 excessive feces, dirt, garbage, dangerous levels of ammonia from urine- 9 saturated surfaces, animals that plainly suffer from parasite infesta- 10 tion, upper respiratory infections, and other ailments and owners or 11 custodians that neither fully recognize nor are capable of remedying the 12 situation. 13 Sadly, these companion animal "hoarding" cases are also frequently 14 accompanied by self neglect and neglect of other people living in the 15 household - particularly children and the elderly. When authorities do 16 intervene, the cost - in terms of both animal suffering and government 17 expenditure - is substantial. Animals removed from hoarding situations 18 are often too debilitated, sick or injured to be helped. When they are 19 able to be rehabilitated, the cost of housing, food and veterinary care 20 can be extremely high. 21 States around the country are responding to companion animal hoarding 22 with legislation that gives law enforcement the tools it needs for early 23 intervention - before the situation becomes a full-blown cruelty case. 24 This legislation defines companion animal hoarding, makes provision for EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06238-01-5A. 1265 2 1 seizure of animals and requires that those deemed hoarders are evaluated 2 to determine whether they can receive services to assist them with their 3 problem. Provision is made for covering the cost of caring for animals 4 seized in hoarding cases and to ensure that those determined to be 5 hoarders do not have custody of companion animals for a period of time 6 that the sentencing court deems reasonable and appropriate. 7 § 2. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new 8 section 353-g to read as follows: 9 § 353-g. Companion animal hoarding. 1. A person is guilty of companion 10 animal hoarding when he or she owns, possesses, or has custody of more 11 companion animals than he or she can properly care for as evidenced by 12 ownership, possession or custody of more than twenty-five companion 13 animals living in conditions that are likely to jeopardize the health 14 and well being of the animals and/or human beings living in the house- 15 hold as evidenced by: 16 (a) Keeping the companion animals in a severely overcrowded living 17 environment likely to endanger their health or safety; 18 (b) Failure by the person who owns, possesses or has custody of the 19 companion animals to maintain his or her living environment in a sani- 20 tary condition such as to pose a serious risk to the health or safety of 21 the companion animals and/or people living in that environment. Failure 22 to provide a sufficiently sanitary living environment may be evidenced 23 by conditions such as excessive feces, urine, dirt, garbage or a lack of 24 basic services that make a home habitable such as heat, hot water, 25 ventilation or electricity; and 26 (c) The presence of companion animals that, without justification, 27 have not received necessary veterinary treatment within a reasonable 28 period of time. 29 2. In addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of this 30 section, the court shall order the defendant to undergo a mental health 31 evaluation by a qualified professional selected by the court. With due 32 consideration to the findings of such mental health professional, the 33 court may order that the defendant undergo and complete a course of 34 treatment, therapy and/or counseling. Also with due consideration to the 35 findings of such mental health professional, the court may also order 36 that the defendant be prohibited from owning companion animals for a 37 period of time deemed reasonable by the court. The provisions of 38 sections three hundred seventy-one, three hundred seventy-two, three 39 hundred seventy-three and three hundred seventy-four of this article 40 shall apply to violations of this section. 41 3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any 42 protections afforded to companion animals under any other provision of 43 this article. 44 § 3. Paragraph a of subdivision 8 of section 374 of the agriculture 45 and markets law, as amended by chapter 594 of the laws of 2003 and such 46 subdivision as renumbered by chapter 479 of the laws of 2009, is amended 47 to read as follows: 48 a. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction 49 for any violation of section three hundred fifty-one, three hundred 50 fifty-three, three hundred fifty-three-a, three hundred fifty-three-b, 51 three hundred fifty-three-g, three hundred fifty-five, three hundred 52 fifty-six, three hundred fifty-nine, three hundred sixty, three hundred 53 sixty-one, three hundred sixty-five or three hundred sixty-eight of this 54 article, the convicted person may, after a duly held hearing pursuant to 55 paragraph f of this subdivision, be ordered by the court to forfeit, to 56 a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals orA. 1265 3 1 a duly incorporated humane society or authorized agents thereof, the 2 animal or animals which are the basis of the conviction. Upon such an 3 order of forfeiture, the convicted person shall be deemed to have relin- 4 quished all rights to the animals which are the basis of the conviction, 5 except those granted in paragraph d of this subdivision. 6 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.