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Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2012
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (240) 482-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Legislation would allow shelters to kill animals in “psychological pain”; would restrict rescue groups’ access

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, expressed grave concerns regarding a bill (A. 5449) in the New York State legislature that would lead to many more animals being killed in animal pounds and shelters across the state.

The bill’s troubling language includes a provision that would allow shelters to kill animals deemed to be in “psychological pain,” as well as language that would restrict the access of animal rescue groups looking to save animals in shelter facilities.

Today the bill passed the New York State Assembly’s Agriculture Committee and is moving on to the Codes Committee before being considered by the full Assembly.

“We are aware of no other state in the country that allows shelter animals to be killed for their perceived psychological pain,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “This is for a good reason—many cats trapped in cages exhibit signs of distress, which soon disappears after the cat is in a more comfortable environment. These cats should be moved out of the shelter environment, not killed for being frightened.”

Robinson also noted that the bill would place burdensome and arbitrary restrictions on rescue groups that work to remove animals from shelters and increase adoption rates.

“Rescue groups, by and large, are run by caring, compassionate volunteers who are deeply committed to the fate of animals. Their efforts should be supported with common-sense policies,” she said.

“We understand this bill was intended to improve animal care and standards in animal shelter facilities, but several aspects would have devastating unintended consequences. We hope the full New York Assembly will heed our call to amend it,” Robinson said.


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is