Legislation cosponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) is elevating care standards at animal shelters and animal rescue organizations in New York State.

The measure passed at the end of May in both the House and Senate as part of the final actions of the legislative session in Albany, gives shelters a set of standards for everyone to follow to make sure abandoned and surrendered dogs and cats get the same quality of housing, veterinary care and nourishment at all facilities operating in the Empire State.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

The new legislation will require passing state inspections in the future.  The guidance will be administered under the division of Agriculture and Markets.

Advocates say the new regulations that address everything from the housing of animals in shelters to transportation of companion animals to and from public and privately-operated shelter operations to the treatment of animals in foster care for rescues and shelters is intended to help animal welfare groups provide the best care for homeless companion animals.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Some of the specific provisions of the law requires written management structure for all shelters, a requirement that all prescription medications and medical treatment be administered under the advisement of a veterinarian. In addition, all animals must be assessed within two hours of intake by a trained staffer and appropriate veterinary care administered in a timely matter for any animal that is in distress or showing sign of illness or injury. Exams are also required to identify behavior and medical conditions within 24 hours.

Violations could result in denial, revocation, suspension or refusal of license renewal as well as possible fines of between $100 and $1,000 per violation.

The complete legislation can be seen here.

The new standards take effect in 2025.

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