Animal Rights in the News

Earlier this month, NY State Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Shafer upheld Local Law 26 for the year 2000 which mandates the existence of full-service animal shelters in all five New York City boroughs. In January 2009, the nonprofit group Stray from the Heart sued the City, alleging that its failure to set up animal shelters in the Bronx and Queens resulted in the “needless suffering and death of homeless cats and dogs.” The complaint charged: “Homeless dogs have been dying in unconscionable numbers because the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has not provided the shelter space required by statute.” Judge Shafer’s Order gave the City 60 days to come up with a plan to implement the law.

The blog of the Committee on Animals and the Law of the New York State Bar Association says that Judge Shafer found that the City violated the Animal Shelters and Sterilization Act, NYC CODE § 17-801 and ordered New York City to submit a plan to open animal shelters in all five boroughs and keep those shelters open 24 hours a day, seven days per week to receive and permit the adoption of dogs and cats. Pursuant to the Act, the City was required, but failed to ensure that a full-service animal shelter was maintained in all five boroughs on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis. The City of New York plans to appeal the court’s decision.

The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Animals and the Law, last month, awarded its second-place award to Andra Waniek (Brooklyn Law School Class of 2009). Her paper, “Protecting Woman’s Best Friend from Family Violence: Proposal for a Model Statute Including Animals in Protective Orders”, addressed legislation concerning inclusion of animals in protective orders. Waniek proposed a federal statute authorizing the inclusion of animals in protective orders that combines and modifies components of several proposed and enacted state statutes and adds a new provision to account for the housing of animals during their owners’ stay at domestic violence shelters. Waniek , who was an Articles Editor at the Brooklyn Law Review during the 2008-2009 academic year, received $500 for her essay.

On the subject of animal rights, the BLS Library has added to its collection a number of interesting items. See Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation by Gary L. Francione (Call # K3620 .F73 2008) the chapters of which include: Introduction: the abolition of animal use versus the regulation of animal treatment — Animals: property or persons? — Reflections on Animals, property, and the law and Rain without thunder — The use of nonhuman animals in biomedical research: necessity and justification — Ecofeminism and animal rights: a review of Beyond animal rights: a feminist caring ethic for the treatment of animals.

See also Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights by Steven M. Wise (Call # HV4708 .W566 2003).