New Law Will Prevent Needless Animal Euthanasia by Encouraging Vets To Perform Free Spay/Neuter Procedures

November 16, 2016

New York — Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that her bill allowing veterinarians to satisfy continuing education requirements by providing free spay and neuter procedures was signed into law.

“Robust spay and neuter programs have proven to be among the most effective methods to reduce pet overpopulation, shelter overpopulation and needless euthanasia,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

“Encouraging veterinarians to provide free spay and neuter procedures will help to save the lives of thousands of innocent animals each year.”

New York State law requires veterinarians to register triennially with the State Department of Education and complete a minimum of 45 hours of continuing education credit. The law, which takes effect in 90 days, was sponsored by Phil Boyle in the Senate. The bill was supported by a number of animal advocacy organizations across the statewide and national including the Humane Society of New York, the ASPCA, City Veterinary Care, New York State Animal Protection Federation, Alley Cat Allies, the New York City Bar, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

“This humane legislation by promoting spaying and neutering will help to reduce the serious overpopulation of our companion animals and save lives, while at the same time facilitating volunteerism among veterinarians. The Humane Society of New York applauds Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal for her ongoing and tireless work to protect animals. We also very much thank Senator Phil Boyle for sponsoring this legislation and Governor Cuomo for signing it into law,” Elinor Molbegott, Legal Counsel for Animal Issues.

“This is great news all around, as the bill should have positive effects on the animals upon which surgery is performed, on species as a whole through the reduction in unwanted births and overpopulation, and on shelters. Veterinarians should benefit as well by maintaining or enhancing their surgical skills,” said Lori Barrett, Chair of the New York City Bar Association Animal Law Committee.

Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, said, “We value the contributions that our local veterinarians make to animal shelters throughout New York. This legislation allows us to increase low-cost spay and neuter services, while simultaneously enhancing the veterinary profession.”

"This legislation is a win-win-win for veterinarians, the animal rescue community and the dogs and cats they care for. In addition it might motivate those veterinarians being introduced for the first time to a rescue operation, to continue doing so on a volunteer basis as there is so much need in our community," Dr. Andrew Kaplan, The Toby Project and City Veterinary Care.

Assemblymember Linda. B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, represents the 67th Assembly district in Manhattan, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods. Rosenthal is the sponsor of dozens of animal protection bills, including the bill to ban cat declawing in New York State.