"To own a pet is a blessing and we owe it to the animals of New York to keep them safe and healthy, Dogs of all breeds deserve loving homes and no one should have to fear losing their insurance coverage based on the dog they own. In the same vein, veterinarians who see signs of abuse in their patients should be safeguarded so they can report said abuse to the proper authorities. I am proud to sign these bills into law to ensure the wellbeing of pets across the state."

With that and a stoke of her magic pen New York State governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S.4254/A.4075 and S.5023A/A.5823-A.  The first of the two bills prohibits unsavory increases in insurance premiums for home owners and renter’s based solely on the breed of a dog.  Therefore, if you have a Siberian Husky and want insurance for your rental property, you now can’t be charged an increased premium due to the breed of the dog.

The second bill attacks what many have considered the underbelly of animal cruelty.  The people most likely to see the footprints of such cruelty are veterinarians. However to date there were no provisions to protect the identity of the veterinarian from vengeful reactions.  The new law mandates all vets in New York State to report all cases of possible animal cruelty to the authorities for investigation.  Furthermore it ensures the confidentiality of the reporting veterinarian thus avoiding recrimination.

Assemblyman Linda Rosenthal, a champion of animal rights in New York for many years said “Violence against animals is often predictive of violence against people, particularly domestic violence, and it is vital that we do everything we can to root out both. Putting a halt to animal cruelty at the first sign will help protect both pets and people from future harm. Veterinarians are uniquely positioned to spot signs of animal abuse, and with this new law, they will be better able to aid in the fight against animal cruelty. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this critical piece of animal protection legislation into law.”

While on the surface these may seem tepid steps against a gargantuan animal problem, success in this arena comes at glacier pace.  Both bills address different issues from good and rational perspectives.  The latter bill regarding veterinarians will certainly put many more animal abusers in jail and off the streets over the coming years!  New York, the third largest state in the Union, is moving progressively towards becoming an animal friendly state.  Joining California, the two giant states hope to be the leaders of the movement as the nation moves towards the more humane and constructive treatment of the animals we are given charge of.