After passing the Assembly and the Senate, Senate Bill 2589 has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature or veto. The bill would allow owners to take their companion animals on public transportation if a state of emergency is declared.
This is meant to partner with identical legislation passed in 2014 in New Jersey to assist those utilizing public transportation through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The AKC supports this legislation, which would allow dog owners to ensure the proper protection and care of their pets during emergency situations. Those who reside or participate in events in the New York City area are encouraged to contact the Governor and ask him sign Senate Bill 2589 into law. You can contact Gov. Cuomo using this contact form, or call his office at 1-518-474-8390.
Senate Bill 2589 would allow owners to take companion animals on Port Authority of New York and New Jersey public transportation during official states of emergency, so long as the animal is under the owner’s control (tether, leash, “appropriate container”, or “other suitable means”), and the boarding is consistent with local emergency plans. This only applies to owners who are evacuating the region affected by the emergency.
The bill does allow for a domestic animal to be refused if there is a health or safety hazard. Passengers with service animals will be provided priority seating, and passengers must be given seating before a companion animal is given a seat.
The AKC will continue to monitor this legislation and provide additional updates. For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.