New York State Prohibits Breed-Specific Legislation

New York State Prohibits Breed-Specific Legislation

By: Staff  Date: 10/31/1997 Category: | Animal Legislation | Canine Issues |

Ten years in the Assembly without passage! No Senate sponsor around - then along came the Long Island Coalition of Dog Fanciers and rattled the crates.

The coalition solicited the help of the American Kennel Club and Associated Dog Clubs of new York in a massive action to bring Assembly Bill 3028 to the attention of the dog world. AKC sent 11,000 letters to New York dog fanciers with our petition of support for the bill. We asked that fanciers copy petitions and give them to others to circulate and that they send letters and make phone calls to get legislators to support the bill.

Fanciers responded with 6000 signatures on the petitions.

The coalition convinced State Senator Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre on Long Island that Assembleywoman Elizabeth Connelly's bill was worth of his support, and he agreed to sponsor it. A campaign of phone calls and letters followed to get the bill out of one committee after another. The bill was amended and re-amended, and, at one point, the breed-specific prohibition was dropped. The coalition and AKC objected and the coalition withdrew its support; the prohibition was put back a week later. We held our collective breath as the roller coaster ride continued for another week while the Legislature continued debate.

On August 3, the last Sunday evening before the Legislative session was due to end, I got an 11 p.m. call that the Senate and Assembly had agreed and the bill would pass. Ten minutes later the bubble burst when another call brought the news that last minute politicking put it on hold again. We went to bed not knowing whether it would pass.

At 8 a.m., we heard that lawmakers met all night and there was still no news. We had just about given up hope when, at 10:15 a.m., we learned by fax transmission that the Senate had passed the bill. Later, the Assembly followed suit.

We waited again for the governor to sign the bill. Finally, on September 3, he signed. New York is now the 12th state to prohibit passage of breed-specific legislation; dogs will now be judged on the deeds, not their breeds.

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All Authors Of This Article: | Sue Weiss |
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