Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.7388B/A.8684B) to protect pets from being abandoned during an eviction. The law requires officers executing a warrant of eviction to check the property for pets and to coordinate the safe removal of such animals with the evictee.
"I know firsthand how pets quickly become members of your family and it is absurd that in these instances a living animal can be treated the same as a possession and be put in harm's way," Governor Cuomo said. "I'm proud to sign this measure that will protect beloved family pets and solve this issue once and for all."
When an eviction order is executed, a marshal takes possession of the property located within the evictee's premises, prepares a written inventory of all items inside, stores the items for a specified amount of time, and then allows the evicted tenant to later retrieve their items. Current law does not distinguish between the treatment of a couch and an animal, which can result in the abandonment of pets. The law signed today addresses this oversight to help ensure the safety and care of pets.
"Pets are family members too, and we are taking action to protect our four-legged friends," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This legislation will ensure the safety of animals during the eviction process. Pets should be treated in a safe, responsible, and humane manner, and no animal should be abandoned."
Senator Jim Tedisco, Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee and Senate Chair of NYS Animal Advocacy Day, said, "Our companion animals are part of our families and give us unconditional love. No pet should ever be left behind and abandoned like an old couch. Those executing eviction notices and those leaving their home have a responsibility to make sure to check the property so an animal is not left behind to die. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing the bill into law and Assemblymember Rosenthal for her efforts to get this passed in the Assembly -- and thanks to all those animal advocates for being a voice for those who have no voice, our companion animals."
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, "The No Pet Left Behind Law recognizes that pets should not be treated like property when their family is evicted, and it will ensure that plans are made for their care. Cats are not like couches, dogs are not like dining tables, and no family should go through what Tori and her family did when they were evicted."
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