New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed an animal welfare legislative package into law recently.

The first law is S.4254/A.4075, which prohibits insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for certain homeowners’ insurance policies based solely on the breed of dog owned by customers.

The second is S.5023A/A.5823-A, which requires veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty.

The Governor said of these two new laws, “Dogs of all breeds deserve loving homes and no one should have to fear losing their insurance coverage based on the dog they own. In the same vein, veterinarians who see signs of abuse in their patients should be safeguarded so they can report said abuse to the proper authorities.”

With the animal cruelty law, the identities of reporting veterinarians will be protected, and vets will also have access to any report that is generated.

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said of the animal cruelty legislation, “Veterinarians are uniquely positioned to spot signs of animal abuse, and with this new law, they will be better able to aid in the fight against animal cruelty.”

Discrimination against certain dog breeds (such as Pit Bulls) can be a problem for owners seeking insurance, and in other areas too. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) can ban people from owning some dog breeds in a community.

For more on how to report suspected animal cruelty, check out this information from the Humane Society of the United States.


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