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A01229 Summary:

BILL NOA01229
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORCahill
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSRCusick, Englebright, Lupardo
 
Add §353-g, amd §374, Ag & Mkts L
 
Creates the crime of companion animal hoarding.
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A01229 Actions:

BILL NOA01229
 
01/07/2021referred to agriculture
01/05/2022referred to agriculture
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A01229 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1229
 
SPONSOR: Cahill
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to compan- ion animal hoarding     PURPOSE: This bill would create a violation of companion animal hoarding, which is defined as neglect in terms of their surrounding environment and a lack of care. The bill further allows a court to order mental health examinations and prohibit possession of such animals as penalties.   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 increase in 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 ammo- nia 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 deter- mine whether they can receive services to assist them with their prob- lem. 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: 2019-2020: A.261 - Referred to Agriculture 2017-2018: A.44 - Referred to Agriculture 2015-2016: A.1265 - Referred to Agriculture 2013-2014: A.1466 - Referred to Agriculture 2011-2012: A.191 - Referred to Agriculture 2009-2010: A.592A - 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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A01229 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1229
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     January 7, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. CAHILL -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. CUSICK,
          ENGLEBRIGHT, LUPARDO -- 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.
                                                                   LBD01479-01-1

        A. 1229                             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 or

        A. 1229                             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.
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