Hearings on Pet Overpopulation

On February 2, 2000 Assemblyman Michael Bragman held public hearings in Albany on the pet overpopulation problem. Dozens of people testified: representatives of many humane organizations, dog control officers, and private citizens. They all spent the day letting Assemblyman Bragman know the effects of the problem and suggesting solutions that could be addressed by the legislature, such as mandatory spay and neuter for cats and dogs and the creation of open-door shelters in every county. A week earlier, hearings had been held in Syracuse with a similar outpouring of concern. Because so many people had attended at these two locations, an additional hearing was scheduled for New York City.

Assemblyman Bragman said that before the legislature could create laws to deal with the problem, many legislators had to be convinced that indeed there was a problem. He pointed out that there are no statewide statistics available on the number of unwanted animals taken in by municipal or private shelters because there is no organization, including the Agriculture and Markets Department that collects these figures.

During the testimony of a NYSHA representative, he asked if NYSHA, being a statewide organization, could provide some figures to him. NYSHA agreed to do so and has sent questionnaires to all the shelters it is aware of in the state. The Agriculture and Markets Department is sending out a questionnaire as well, requesting that all dog control officers and related shelters provide figures to them.

The results will be compiled and sent to Assemblyman Bragman. If your shelter has not received a questionnaire from NYSHA, please call the office immediately to request one. This is an important way to help the animals.

New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XIV, No.1, Spring 2000.