Agriculture & Markets - Animals - Spaying and neutering of dogs and cats


Published: 2014-09-22

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§ 377-a. Spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. 1. The legislature
finds that the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats in the state
results in an overabundance of puppies and kittens. More puppies and
kittens are produced than responsible homes for them can be provided.
This leads to many of such animals becoming stray and suffering
privation and death, being impounded and destroyed at great expense to
the community and constituting a public nuisance and health hazard. It
is therefore declared to be the public policy of New York state that
every feasible humane means of reducing the production of unwanted
puppies and kittens be encouraged.

2. No animal shelter, pound, dog control officer, humane society, dog
or cat protective association, or duly incorporated society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals shall release any dog or cat for
adoption to any person unless prior thereto:

(a) the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered; or

(b) the person intending to adopt the dog or cat shall have executed a
written agreement with the animal shelter, pound, dog control officer,
humane society, dog or cat protective association, or duly incorporated
society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, to have the dog or cat
spayed or neutered within thirty days from the adoption date, or in the
case of a dog or cat which has not yet reached sexual maturity, within
thirty days of the dog or cat reaching six months of age. The person
intending to adopt the dog or cat shall deposit with the animal shelter,
pound, dog control officer, humane society, dog or cat protective
association, or duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty
to animals, an amount of not less than thirty-five dollars. Not more
than every two years, the commissioner, after holding a public hearing,
may raise the amount to be deposited to reflect rising costs; or

(c) the person intending to adopt the dog or cat shall have executed a
written agreement with the animal shelter, pound, dog control officer,
humane society, dog or cat protective association or society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals to have the dog or cat spayed or
neutered within thirty days from the adoption date, or in the case of a
dog or cat which has not yet reached sexual maturity, within thirty days
of the dog or cat reaching six months of age. The person intending to
adopt the dog or cat shall have paid an adoption fee which includes the
cost of the spay or neuter procedure. The written agreement shall
require that the animal shelter, pound, dog control officer, humane
society, dog or cat protective association or society for the prevention
of cruelty to animals from which the dog or cat is adopted bear the cost
of the spay or neuter procedure.

3. For the purposes of this section, the age of the animal at the time
of adoption shall be determined by the animal shelter, pound, dog
control officer, humane society, dog or cat protective association, or
duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals that
releases the animal for adoption and such age shall be clearly written
on the written agreement by the animal shelter, pound, dog control
officer, humane society, dog or cat protective association, or duly
incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, prior to
the agreement being executed by the person adopting the animal.

4. Any deposit collected pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision two
of this section that is not claimed within ninety days of its
collection, or if the deposit is for an animal under six months of age,
within sixty days after the animal has reached six months of age, shall
be deposited in the animal population control fund established pursuant
to section ninety-seven-xx of the state finance law.

Deposits collected pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision two of
this section shall be refunded to the adopter upon presentation to the
animal shelter, pound, dog control officer, humane society, dog and cat
protective association, or duly incorporated society for the prevention
of cruelty to animals of written documentation from a licensed
veterinarian that the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered, provided
that the animal has been spayed or neutered within the time specified in
the written agreement, or that because of old age or other health
reasons, as certified by a licensed veterinarian examining the dog or
cat, spaying or neutering would endanger the animal's life.

5. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent any town, city,
village or county in New York state from enacting a local law or
ordinance requiring that animal shelters, pounds, dog control officers,
humane societies, dog or cat protective associations and duly
incorporated societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals within
such town, city, village or county spay or neuter dogs and cats prior to
releasing such animals for adoption, provided that such local law or
ordinance may require spaying or neutering at an age earlier, but in no
event later than that required in this section, except where because of
advanced age or other health reasons, as certified by a licensed
veterinarian who has examined the dog or cat, spaying or neutering would
endanger the life of the animal. A town, city, village or county in New
York state that enacts such a local law or ordinance shall be exempt
from the provisions of this section.