New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed several bills supported by the American Kennel Club (AKC) that will benefit dogs and dog owners throughout the state:
S.6870/A. 6246 – Regulations on Animal Shelters, Importation
These bills contain numerous new requirements to ensure the appropriate care of animals at shelters. They also include some requirements for those who provide foster care for animals in shelters.
They also outline new requirements for any dog or cat imported into New York “for sale, resale or adoption”. Current law requires a health certificate for dogs entering New York State for sale, resale, or adoption. In addition, the dog must have a rabies vaccination unless it is under three months of age.
Under these bills, any person in the state who is receiving a dog for one of these purposes must hold the dog for 48 hours. If during this period the dog demonstrates signs of any infectious, contagious, parasitic, or communicable disease, then the animal must be immediately taken to a veterinarian and quarantined (if necessary) until the animal is declared free of disease.
Dogs temporarily entering the state for exhibition for fewer than 15 days are exempted, so long as the dog is vaccinated for rabies (if over three months old) and is properly restrained and under the immediate control of the owner.
AKC Government Relations (GR) was asked by the governor’s staff for our position on these bills, and we were pleased to express our support. AKC GR appreciates that this law will better ensure the proper care and transportation of dogs at shelters, and also that it will protect public health by requiring a brief quarantine period to ensure the health of dogs coming into the state. We also are grateful for the clarification that dogs coming into the state for shows and competitions do not need to be quarantined, so long as they are under proper control of their owner or handler.
According to the bill text, the new law will go into effect in three years. AKC will be providing more information on the law and any subsequent regulations as they become available.
A. 9284/S. 8315 – Clarifications on Law Preventing Insurance Breed Discrimination
In 2021, a new law supported by AKC passed in New York that states, “With respect to homeowners’ insurance policies…no insurer shall refuse to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium or rate…based solely upon harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds.”
This bill signed by the governor expands this law to clarify that homeowners’ insurers may also not exclude, limit, restrict, or reduce coverage based solely on breed.
AKC was pleased to support this bill, which will go into effect in 90 days, that further protects dog owners seeking homeowners’ insurance in New York. AKC GR continues to encourage the General Assembly to pass legislation in the coming sessions to extend these protections to those seeking renters’ insurance policies.
A. 9296/S. 8973 – Clarification on Returning Dogs Found by Law Enforcement Officials
This bill clarifies that if a police officer or animal control officer finds a dog, they may return that dog to the owner listed on the license, so long as the license is current and there is no probable cause that the dog is dangerous.
AKC supported this bill, which will help ensure that pets are more quickly reunited with their owners and while decreasing burdens on shelters. This law became effective immediately upon being signed by the governor.
AKC appreciates the General Assembly and Governor Hochul for approving these bills to protect dogs and dog owners in New York.
AKC GR continues to monitor legislative activity in New York impacting dog owners. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.