New York State recently passed Bill #A6246C, which will inevitably cause thousands of small, all-volunteer, New York rescues to close their doors
Although this bill has good intentions, it is not written with volunteer/foster-based organizations with lower budgets in mind.
This bill, which goes into effect in 2025, will, unfortunately, have a negative impact on the homeless pet population. You can help us encourage NYS lawmakers to amend this bill, though.
Currently, nonprofit organizations must annually file and pay fees with three different departments through NYS
, and pay a large fee to the IRS to become a 501(c)(3). With this bill, there will be another annual filing and fee. This money is better spent on the animals.
While it is important to ensure animals are receiving proper care and are living in a clean environment, it is also important to provide resources to help with the overpopulation problem.
We ask NYS lawmakers to amend this bill
- consider all-volunteer/foster organizations by eliminating staff training, excessive paperwork/fees, and foster home inspections by the commissioner and, instead, allow the director of the organization to conduct foster home inspections and train volunteers only when needed; and
- include resources for free or low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary care, and government grants to help create programs to help homeless animals; and
- make stricter punishments for animal neglect, abuse, and abandonment.
We need every rescue and shelter to address this very overwhelming problem. The animals will be the ones to suffer
if rescues have to close their doors. Sign this petition and ask NYS lawmakers to amend this bill to help small rescues and the animals who need them!
Re: A06246C - As it Relates to Rescue Organizations
Dear Assembly Member,
I am writing to address a serious concern I, and many others in the animal community, have about Bill A06246C.
We all appreciate the purpose of the Act, and support its overall intent and message to create uniform standards across the rescue and shelter community. It has been far too long since animal welfare was a forefront issue, and we applaud you and the rest of the Legislature for undertaking such a cause.
While we appreciate and applaud the action the Legislature has taken, we wish to bring to your attention to the effect this will have on small, volunteer rescues who are not financially equipped to meet these standards.
There is an overwhelming concern that the mere cost of compliance will force these small, volunteer, foster-based rescues to close their doors
. This would greatly impact the homeless pet population, which is already at a current all-time high.
As you are aware, the Act requires an annual license and fee, documented and continuous training, and allows for unannounced inspections. We respectfully ask you to reconsider these requirements for foster-based rescues ("Small Rescues") whose annual revenue does not exceed $100,000.
These small rescues are already registered with New York State (Not-For-Profit Corporation), the Charities Bureau, and more recently, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and are subject to the fees required by each. The additional annual fee of $150, which might appear small, is an additional expense that would direct funds and donations away from caring for the animals in foster care
. These funds are a precious commodity to the foster-based rescues, as covering the ever-growing cost to care for previously homeless animals has become a challenge. The additional fee would mean rescues are unable to assist as many animals. I ask you to consider the purpose of having rescues and shelters registered (and paying fees) through so many agencies to do their important work in just one state, especially when they are also registered with the IRS in order to obtain their nonprofit status.
Documented, continuous training is another requirement that would pose an undue burden on small rescues. Volunteers give their time to small rescues because they are passionate about animal welfare. Most have pets of their own, and are willing to open their home to animals as a foster. An additional training requirement would not only be an additional expense for small rescues, but it would also put an additional burden on volunteers who are already giving so much. I respectfully request that small rescues be exempt from this requirement, or, at the very least, require only one training to be completed at the onset of a volunteer's time with the rescue. There is a serious lack of resources in the animal welfare community.
The cost of veterinary care is exorbitant, food and other supplies are also costly, and there is not enough space in shelters and foster homes to help every pet in need. Knowing this, I ask you to consider amending this bill
to, instead, provide resources, such as low-cost spay and neuter state-wide, government grants so organizations are able to create helpful programs that assist pet owners so they may keep their pets, and stricter punishments for animal abuse and neglect to serve as a deterrent and support the goal of the animal rescue community.
You have an opportunity to have a positive impact on the animal welfare community. For years, rescues and shelters have been struggling, which means animals are suffering. The best way to improve the care and treatment of rescue animals is to provide resources for them.