Call him the Doctor Dolittle of the New York City Council.
New York City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) might not be able to talk to the animals, but he sure is speaking up for them.
The well-known vegan friend of our furry friends this week introduced three bills to prevent animal cruelty.
The first bill (Int 1497), makes it a crime to leave pets outside during inclement weather. Doing so would place the offender on the city’s Animal Abuser Registry.
At post time KCP could not find out what the measure considers inclement weather. An Alaskan Husky, for example, might consider a snowstorm at 25 degrees a day on the beach.
Brannan, a long-time animal rights activist himself, explained, “It’s no secret that I love animals and I will do anything I can to protect them. This trio of bills will help make New York a more humane city.”
The second bill (Int 1496) mandates that pets found after an eviction or legal possession be retrieved by a city shelter within 24 hours. Currently, pets are often left in buildings for days and weeks without food putting them in danger of starvation.
The final bill (Int 1498) requires the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to report data on animal cruelty complaints. Brannan believes treating animal cruelty reporting like other crimes will help bring attention to the issue and give New Yorkers assurances that their complaints are being investigated.
The bills follow Brannan’s continued effort to protect the city’s many four-legged friends including introducing legislation last week aimed at creating a Department of Animal Welfare.
The new department would oversee all animal shelters with the authority to issue and revoke a shelter’s business license. An appointed commissioner will head the department, which would have the authority to enter into contracts with animal shelters.
The bill mandates the department prepare and submit reports on any businesses acting as an animal shelter. The DOHMH will continue to work with the new animal welfare department to enforce animal sterilization laws.
Following the enactment, the mayor and Speaker Corey Johnson will appoint an 11-member Animal Welfare Advisory board. The board will advise the commissioner and suggest policy and legislative recommendations for the new department.