New York State Legislators Seek "Oreo's Law"

Nathan Winograd For SF Animal Shelters Examiner

‘Oreo’s Law’ Would Give Dogs a Second Chance at Life

MANHATTAN — A bill to allow animal welfare organizations the right to request animals be given to their care when a shelter is planning to euthanize them will be introduced in the State Legislature this week by Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner and State Senator Thomas K. Duane.

The bill is named Oreo’s Law in memory of a pit bull mix who became well-known after she survived abuse at the hands of her former owner, including a fall from a six-story building, but was eventually euthanized after the ASPCA determined she was untreatably aggressive. Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill animal shelter located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, specializing in the rehabilitation and care of abused animals, offered to take Oreo, but the ASPCA refused the request.

“As a dog owner and a foster parent for an animal rescue group, I was heartbroken to learn that Oreo was euthanized. When a humane organization volunteers their expertise in difficult cases, a shelter should work with them to the fullest extent possible.” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “I am hopeful that Oreo’s Law will ensure that no animal is ever put to death if there is a responsible alternative.”

“The humane treatment of animals in the care of shelters is an issue about which I feel very strongly,” said Senator Thomas K. Duane, who will introduce Oreo’s Law legislation in the New York State Senate. “No animal should be put down by a shelter if a reputable humane or rescue organization is willing to assume responsibility for its well being. Oreo’s Law would make sure that in instances where animals aren’t rabid or physically suffering, such organizations have the authority to take possession with the payment of the normal adoption fee, and that Oreo’s sad plight will not be repeated.”

“We are deeply moved that Assembly Member Kellner and Senator Duane have taken up Oreo’s cause. We all need to be the voice for these innocent animals,” said Kerry Clair and Matt DeAngelis, Executive Co-Directors of Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary. “We have asked our local legislators to support the bill and we hope that Oreo’s tragic and unnecessary death will offer life to thousands of others.”

Oreo’s Law is modeled after a provision in California state law, adopted there in 1998 as part of a general animal welfare reform package known as the Hayden Law (named after the Senator who authored it).

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