Bill Requires Shelters to Do More to Reunite Pets with Families

DogshelterpicNew York Assembly Member Amy Paulin has re-introduced as a stand alone bill provisions from last session’s shelter access bill that would help owners find lost pets. The new bill, A 3843, has already passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is now in the Codes Committee. The Senate version, S. 4203-A, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Grisanti, is pending in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

A. 3843/S. 4203-A requires shelters within 24 hours to take steps to (1) check animals for all currently possible forms of identification including, but not limited to, tags, microchips, tattoos or licenses; (2) make available to the public on the internet on a website or other public means if a website is not practical, at least during the redemption period, a photograph, if practicable, and a general description of the animal to assist the owner(s) in finding the animal, including the species, type, and breed(s), if known, though information about the animal may be withheld if deemed appropriate to facilitate finding the owner(s) or otherwise to protect the safety of the animal.

Shelters are also required to compare the information known about the animal with records of animals reported to be lost or stolen pursuant to NYS Ag & Mkts. Sec. 112 as soon as the records are available following seizure or taking possession of an animal. The description of a dog already required by Sec. 113, Subd. 4 to be recorded is extended to include all animals impounded under Sec. 373 and specified to include the identifying information found on the animal, the species, type, breed, coloring, markings, and approximate size and weight.

The hold period is not triggered until after the above steps are completed.

The bill also clarifies the current redemption period as set forth in Sec. 117 applies to all animals seized or taken in under Sec. 373 and not only dogs. The bill also clarifies that provisions requiring notice to an owner personally or by certified mail, with extended holding periods when an owner is identified, apply also to all animals seized or taken in under Sec. 373 and not only dogs.


Let’s pass this bill that will help lost pets find their homes! If you live in New York, find your state Assembly member here. Find Assembly Member Joe Lentol, Chair of the Codes Committee here. Contact your Assembly Member and Assembly Member Lentol and urge them to support A. 3843 to help lost pets find their people. Also, find your New York state senator here and Sen. Patty Ritchie, chair of the senate Agriculture Committee, here. Contact your state senator and Sen. Ritchie and urge them to support S. 4203-A to help lost pets find their people.