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Ask NY Committee to Support Allowing Service/Therapy Dogs to Accompany Domestic Violence Victims at Shelters

May 26, 2015

The New York Senate Social Services Committee is considering a bill on Thursday, May 28, that would allow victims of domestic violence to bring their service or therapy dogs with them if they need to go to an emergency shelter.

The AKC supports this bill, which recognizes the important role these animals provide, and the complex dynamic involving pets and domestic violence. Sociological and psychological studies show that a significant percentage of domestic violence cases involving family victims also involve threats and/or actual harm perpetrated against pets. For this reason, many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to leave a dangerous situation for fear of the fate of a pet left behind.

Victims of domestic violence are in a vulnerable and frightening situation, and the practical role and comfort that a service/therapy animal provides is essential.  Specifically, Senate Bill 5372 would require that if someone needs to enter a residential program set up by the state to shelter victims of domestic violence, their service/therapy animal must be allowed to accompany them, so long as the animal meets specific terms outlined in state law defining service and therapy animals.

What You Can Do:

Contact the Senate Social Services Committee and Your State Senator and ask them to support Senate Bill 5372.  To find the name and contact information for your State Senator, visit the NY Senate’s website, or AKC’s new Legislative Action Center and type in your address.

The committee’s contact information is as follows (if you are a constituent, please be sure to mention that when contacting them):

Sen. David Carlucci, Chair (Dist. 38- Ossining, New City)
Phone (Albany): 518-455-2991
Phone (District office): 845-623-3627
Phone (Ossining): 914-941-2041
E-mail: Carlucci@nysenate.gov

Senator George Amedore, Jr. (Dist. 46- Kingston, Fonda)
Phone (Albany): (518) 455-2350
Phone (Ulster County): 845-331-3810
Phone (Montgomery County): 518-853-3401
E-mail: Amedore@nysenate.gov

Sen. Hugh Farley (Dist 49- Johnstown, Ballston Spa)
Phone (Albany): (518) 455-2181
Phone (District Office): (518) 885-1829
Phone (Johnstown): (518) 762-3733
E-mail: Farley@nysenate.gov

Sen. Kenneth LaValle (Dist. 1- Mount Sinai)
Phone (Albany): (518) 455-3121
Phone (Mount Sinai): (631) 473-1461
E-mail: lavalle@nysenate.gov

Sen. Jack Martins (Dist. 7 – Mineola)
Phone (Albany): 518-455-3265
Phone (Mineola): 516-746-5924
E-mail: martins@nysenate.gov

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (Dist. 25- Brooklyn)
Phone (Albany): (518) 455-3451
Phone (Brooklyn): (718) 643-6140
E-mail: montgome@nysenate.gov

Sen. Daniel Squadron (Dist. 26- Brooklyn)
Phone (Albany): 518-455-2625
Phone (New York City): 212-298-5565
E-mail: squadron@nysenate.gov

The NY Senate Social Services Committee is considering a bill on Thursday, May 28, that is supported by the AKC and would allow victims of domestic violence to bring their service or therapy dogs with them if they need to go to an emergency shelter.

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