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Lobby for Animals

New York: Governor's Budget Proposal Threatens Animal Programs
In his budget proposal, Governor Elliot Spitzer seeks to divert funding from two critical animal welfare laws to instead pay the salaries and fringe benefits of state employees.
The first proposal would remove $150,000 from the $3 surcharge on unaltered dog licenses—one of the main sources of funding for New York’s Low Cost Spay/Neuter Program—to pay the salaries of animal health inspectors not directly associated with the provision of spay/neuter services. Since 1997 (and as funds are available), the Animal Population Control Program has provided low-cost spay and neuter services to New Yorkers who adopt pets from shelters and humane societies in our state. Last year, the law was expanded to cover low-income pet owners regardless of where they obtain their pets. Depleting the fund now will mean that many New York pet owners eligible for affordable spay/neuter services will not receive them.
The second proposal would divert $100,000 from the license fees collected from pet dealers to pay for fringe benefits for state employees, which would essentially deplete this fund for the year. Currently, these license fees are used for enforcement of the pet dealer licensing law, which requires that pet stores and dog breeders comply with minimum animal care and consumer protection standards. Even with the licensing law, pet dealers are still the subject of animal cruelty and consumer complaints throughout the state. Cutting funding for this program so substantially will mean even less effective enforcement of the law.
What You Can DoPlease call Governor Spitzer, the leaders in both houses and your state representatives and urge them to support a budget that increases rather than depletes the resources of the Animal Population Control Program and Pet Dealer Licensing Law.
Governor Elliot Spitzer(518) 474-8390
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver(518) 455-3791
Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno(518) 455-3191


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