ASPCA Opposes "Elijah's Law" as Solution For Combating Dog Attacks in New York State

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Solution lies in enforcement of existing laws and passage of effective and updated "dangerous dog" and dog licensing legislation.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) unequivocally refutes "Elijah's Law," a bill recently proposed by New York State Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera. Assemblyman Rivera introduced the bill as a solution for combating dog attacks and managing "dangerous" dogs throughout the state.

"'Elijah's Law' offers an unsubstantiated solution to a complex issue" says ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres. "The solution in New York State for addressing the issue of "dangerous" dogs needs to start with the enforcement of existing laws; mandatory licensing and leashing, combined with the enactment of effective "dangerous dog" and dog licensing legislation."

Many residents are unaware that New York State animal control agencies rely on dog licensing fees to operate effectively and suffer a yearly revenue loss of approximately 14 million dollars because people are not licensing their dogs. If dog owners abided by the licensing law, the fees would fund the state's ability to enforce leash laws and employ adequate animal control officers to seize dogs at large.

The ASPCA is calling on New York residents to support two bills currently pending in Albany: A.6635-B/S.5910-B, the "dangerous dog" bill and A.6509-E/S.2979-E, a dog licensing bill. The "dangerous dog" bill includes provisions that would update current "dangerous dog" legislation by increasing penalties for violators, and implement a registry for monitoring dogs already deemed "dangerous." Among other provisions, the dog licensing bill would modestly increase dog licensing fees and most importantly, increase voluntary compliance with dog licensing by requiring processing of dog license applications and collection of fees at animal shelters or rescue groups,

"Our thoughts are with all victims of dog attacks and we will continue our commitment to all New Yorkers, to strive for positive and constructive solutions for managing our canine friends." Sayres continues.

For more information, or to contact American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, see their website at: www.aspca.org

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