Now that Mayor de Blasio’s in office, animal rights groups are no longer in the doghouse.
And they’re using their new political clout to push pet causes.
New York Daily News, by Jennifer Fermino
Leading animal advocates — including the anti-horse-carriage group that helped elect de Blasio — have an ambitious agenda that includes stopping geese slaughter near airports and protecting tenants’ rights to get a new pet without landlord approval when their cat, dog or bird dies.
The advocates want the city to create a new Office of Animal Welfare with real bite — it would be located in City Hall and report directly to First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.
The office, led by an animal czar, would “centralize oversight” on all Big Apple animal issues, according to a 37-page memo to the mayor obtained by the Daily News.
The memo was authored by the ASPCA, the independent Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and NYCLASS — the group that sank $174,000 into last year’s elections to ensure the defeat of mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, who refused to support a ban on the horse and carriage industry.
De Blasio backed the ban — and earned the group’s endorsement. Now the coalition expects the mayor to be responsive.
“We . . . recognize the importance of a partnership with this administration that has all our four-legged residents and those that love them filled with hope,” the memo says.
The groups’ causes include an increase in the $8.50 dog licensing fee, with the extra revenue going to fund animal control expenses. The hike would require approval in Albany, which sets dog-license rates for the city.
The advocates favor “nonlethal” alternatives to killing geese near the city’s airports to control their population.
That practice — conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the city’s expense — began in 2009 after a flock of birds flew into US Airways Flight 1549, forcing it to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River.
The animal rights groups suggest it’s not necessary to kill the birds — instead, their food should be removed. “(The city should) create a landscape that is uninviting to birds,” the memo says.
Other items include banning “wild animals in entertainment”
— like circus lions and tigers — and tightening laws to protect pet-owning renters.
Right now, tenants whose pets die have to ask landlords’ permission to get a new pet. The advocates want to make the acquisition of another cat or dog a right.