New York Mandates Protection for Pets When Their People Get Evicted

Pets finally have a new measure of protection in New York if their human companions face eviction.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “No Pet Left Behind” bill on August 23, 2018. State Sen. James Tedisco and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal co-sponsored the legislation.

“No Pet Left Behind” requires law enforcement officers executing an eviction warrant to check the property for pets. If animals are present, the officers must coordinate their safe removal with the person being evicted. If that’s not possible, the pets must be turned over to an animal shelter or rescue group.

kitten

Photo Credit: Lucija Ros/Unsplash

“I know firsthand how pets quickly become members of your family, and it is absurd that in these instances a living animal can be treated the same as a possession and be put in harm’s way,” Gov. Cuomo said as he signed the legislation. “I’m proud to sign this measure that will protect beloved family pets and solve this issue once and for all.”

What galvanized Tedisco and Rosenthal to put forward this legislation? It was a 2-year-old rescued pit bull named Tori who was left behind after an eviction in 2017. Tori’s family didn’t leave her in the apartment on purpose — their landlord changed the locks when they weren’t home, and authorities served them with an eviction notice. They couldn’t get back in.

That poor dog sat caged and alone in an empty apartment for two days with nothing but some water. Tori was so hungry it appeared that she’d tried to eat the toys left in the cage. Yes, she was treated like just one more piece of property to be inventoried and secured. It took an emergency court order from the family to get their dog released.

Despite her hunger, Tori was happier to see her human than the food he brought her when he was finally able to free her. That’s true love. And this dog deserved far better treatment.

Tori’s tale isn’t an isolated case by any means. Tedisco and Rosenthal, both animals lovers, know this only too well — and they felt compelled to act.

Rosenthal explains:

Cats are not like couches, dogs are not like dining tables, and no family should go through what Tori and her family did when they were evicted. Animals are sentient beings, members of the family who rely on human care for survival. Plans must be made for their care in the event of an eviction, and this law will ensure that they are.

Tedisco, a Republican, is the chair of the New York Senate Social Services Committee and Senate chair of NYS Animal Advocacy Day. Meanwhile, Rosenthal, a Democrat, has passed a law to protect animals each year she has been in office.

Both politicians have sponsored a number of animal rights and animal welfare measures in the state, including one requiring New York animal shelters and rescues to check stray and abandoned animals for microchips.

“No pet should ever be left behind and abandoned like an old couch,” said Tedisco in a statement. “Those executing eviction notices and those leaving their home have a responsibility to make sure to check the property so an animal is not left behind to die.”

Truly, the issue of helping our animal friends crosses partisan lines. Love of animals and concern for their welfare brings opposing parties together for a common cause. It’s something we can all get behind.

Now, how about getting a similar law passed in other states? Figure out the most animal-friendly representative in your state and urge him or her to sponsor similar legislation. It’s one easy way that you can help make a difference for animals.

Photo Credit: freestocks.org/Unsplash

72 comments

Paulo R
Paulo R10 days ago

very good news as long as it's enforced.

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga10 days ago

thx

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell10 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell10 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O10 days ago

clearly we need more women legislators

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O10 days ago

good work

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O10 days ago

th

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Ruth G
Ruth G10 days ago

Well done New York, what a sensible ,practical compassionate policy.!

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Karen N
Karen N11 days ago

Good on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. James Tedisco and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal! . . . It's really nice to know that not all politicians are cruel and heartless because, regardless of anyone's status in life, without morals, compassion, respect and empathy for other 'living beings', humans, animals and other creatures alike, we are nothing . . . Absolutely NOTHING!

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Brandy S
Brandy S11 days ago

Thanks.

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