Hear Them, Then Speak for Them: Why You Must Act Immediately to Ban Cruel Devocalization in NY State
The proposed New York State law banning devocalization of dogs and cats is in trouble. The legislation must pass both the Assembly and the Senate before the 2011-12 session ends in June--and the veterinary lobby, with members who profit from devocalization, has mobilized to defeat it.
It's time for animal advocates to mobilize too, while the legislation still has a chance to become an enforceable law.
The veterinary lobby is vocal and tenacious. It can kill the proposed devocalization ban by persuading lawmakers to stall the legislation in committee...or amend it into a sham law that allows, legitimizes and ultimately will encourage this act of cruelty.
Pro-devocalization lobbies failed to do that in Massachusetts, which passed a strong devocalization ban in 2010 thanks only to calls to lawmakers by kind people like you.
That has to happen in New York too. Online petitions won't help. Emails are often ignored. You must pick up the phone. Don't let those who promote abject cruelty--cutting vocal cords just to stifle a dog's or cat's voice--win or helpless animals will lose their voices, wellbeing and even lives.
5 Minutes to Spare Dogs and Cats Lifelong Anguish or Agonizing Death. Every Call is Vital. Yours Matters. Who to Call, What to Say
Start by identifying yourself. If you represent a shelter, rescue or advocacy organization, or are a vet or animal behavior and training specialist, say so!
Both Assembly Bill 3431B (A3431B) and Senate Bill 6167A (S6167A) must move promptly out of committee and onto the floor of their respective chambers or they have no chance to pass. If the already weakened A3431B is further amended, it will be a meaningless or destructive law. The same is true if S6167A is amended beyond the current language of A3431B.
IMPORTANT: Aides who take your calls may be confused or trying to confuse you. Senate committees don'thave to wait until the Assembly bill passes to release the Senate bill and vice versa. The Senate bill and Assembly bill don'thave to match in order to be released from committee. Those are stall tactics often used to keep legislation from passing. Stand firm and don't debate. Just repeat your message and thank the aide. Be polite even if the aide isn't.
Use the specific wording provided--including the letters at the end of each bill number--so your message is clear. Add your own thoughts if you'd like, but be brief and always polite.
START WITH THESE TWO POWER BROKERS OF THE LEGISLATURE:
- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, 518-455-3791: "I'd like the Speaker's help ensuring A3431B passesthis sessionwithout amendments that would change its intent or reduce enforceability."
- Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos, 518-455-3171: "I'd like the Senator's help ensuring S6167Apasses this session, mirroring butnot amended beyond A3431B, so it can become an enforceable law prohibiting devocalization."
MAKE SURE TO CALL THESE TWO CHAIRS, WHO ALSO DETERMINE THE FATE OF THE LEGISLATION--AND DOGS AND CATS: - Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie, 518-455-3438: "Please release S6167A from Agriculture promptly. I ask that it notbe amendedbeyond the language of A3431B as written, so it can become an enforceable law prohibiting devocalization."
- Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol, 518-455-4477: "Please release A3431B from Codes quickly and favorably without amendmentsthat would change its intent or reduce enforceability."
THESE TWO SPONSORS NEED TO "WORK" THEIR BILLS--OR THEY WON'T PASS--WITHOUT FURTHER CAPITULATION TO PRO-DEVOCALIZATION LOBBIES:
- Senator Lee Zeldin, at 518-455-3570: "I appreciate that the senator introduced S6167A but I ask that he make sure it passes this session mirroring butnot amended beyond A3431B as written so it can become an enforceable law prohibiting devocalization."
- Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, 518-455-5735: “I appreciate that the Assemblyman introduced A3431B. I’d like him to ensure it passes this session without amendmentsthat would change its intent or reduce enforceability."
If you get voicemail, leave a short message, then call back till you can speak with an aide. Don't give up!
The position of the New York Against Devocalization coalition, is simple and unwavering: Devocalization is an act of cruelty that NY must prohibit for any reason except to treat a physical ailment causing the animal medical harm.