Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Olean, New York - Delaware's Slow-Kill Deja Vu

Recently I became aware of a small town in rural New York that eerily parallels some of the issues that we've been faced with in Delaware.

"The group Citizens for Shelter Reform at Cattaraugus County demonstrated that the CCSPCA contract with the City of Olean is being violated in numerous ways, including: failure to spay/neuter, vaccinate and license all adopted animals; failure to provide adequate veterinary care for sick and ailing animals; failure to answer/respond to phone calls from the public regarding stray, abandoned and/or injured animals; failure to provide adequate facilities for the proper care and sheltering of animals. " - Niagara Falls Reporter

What's so disturbing about this is that the solution to these issues is so simple.  Laws that address real standards of care and inspections.  Not photo op laws like CAPA, and definitely not ignoring the situations as we've seen here in Delaware, and as is being done in Olean NY at the SPCA of Cattaraugus County NY.
"Part of the problem is the lack of clear care standards for the care of companion animals (the only standards apply to stray dogs and to those in the care of licensed pet dealers) and the rest of it are animal cruelty laws that are poorly written and hard to enforce, leading to minor penalties and repeat violations.
Don’t dogs and cats need the same minimum care: food, water, socialization, veterinary care, shelter, protection from harm, no matter where they are? I think that New York needs to look at a comprehensive standard for companion animal care, as in Colorado, no matter where the animal is or who is providing the care, and write clear, easy to enforce animal cruelty laws that are part of the Penal Code — not an obscure part of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
The editors mention the “Shelter Access” bill and the CAARA bill. And neither of these bills will work as intended or described, in fact the -  care of animals in the community may suffer. They were right not to endorse them." - Mary Anne Kowalski - The Daily News Online
I know I've been saying it for almost 2 years now, and clearly many in New York have the same viewpoint.  So why are so many states reluctant to introduce legislation that enforces real standards?  I wish I knew.  There are a whole lot of politicians out there that CLAIM they care about animals, but you have to wonder why a southern state is leading the way when it comes to at least addressing basic care standards and inspections.

It's amazing that the state legislators, in states like Delaware and New York, can't seem to understand that the horror stories that have occurred in their states are a direct result of their failure to introduce legislation that says a shelter or rescue must provide a minimum level of care.  Instead they continue to introduce legislation that uses a subjective term like "irremediably suffering" that will never be fairly enforceable so that they can use our lack of real standards to protect shelters that they have aligned themselves with.

I'm not sure who aggravates me more, the corrupt legislators who protect their friends, or the indifferent ones that just ignore the issues and hope these horror stories will just go away.

I'm sure there are many other states in the same position.  Hopefully we can all start to yell the same chant for each other - We Want Real Shelter Reform !!!  We Want Real Standards & Inspections !!! 

So I encourage readers to sign this petition on behalf of our parallel universe in Olean, New York, as they attempt to end their current horror story for the animals at the SPCA of Cattaraugus County NY