New York Consolidated Laws, Agriculture and Markets Law - AGM § 374. Humane destruction or other disposition of animals lost, strayed, homeless, abandoned or improperly confined or kept




1. Any agent or officer of any duly incorporated humane society, a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any dog control officer, or any police officer, may lawfully cause to be humanely destroyed (by means provided for in paragraph a of subdivision three of this section) any animal found abandoned and not properly cared for, or any lost, strayed, homeless or unwanted animal, if upon examination a licensed veterinarian shall certify in writing, or if two reputable citizens called upon by such agent, officer or police officer to view the same in his or her presence find that the animal is so maimed, diseased, disabled, or infirm so as to be unfit for any useful purpose and that humane euthanasia is warranted;  or after such agent, officer or police officer has obtained in writing from the owner of such animal his or her consent to such destruction.

2. In the absence of such findings or certification, a duly incorporated humane society, a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any pound maintained by or under contract or agreement with any county, city, town or village may after five days make available for adoption or have humanely destroyed in accordance with the provisions of this section and subject to subdivisions six, eight and nine of section one hundred eighteen of this chapter, any animal of which possession is taken as provided for in the preceding section, unless the same is earlier redeemed by its owner.

2-a to 2-e. Repealed by L.2009, c. 479, § 1, eff. Oct. 9, 2010 .

3. a. Except as provided in subdivision four of this section, euthanasia of animals pursuant to this section shall be accomplished solely by means of injection of sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital solution administered by a certified euthanasia technician, a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician.  Euthanasia by intracardiac injection of sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital solution shall be performed only upon animals that are heavily sedated, anesthetized, or comatose.  However, only a licensed veterinarian may perform euthanasia by intracardiac injection of sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital solution upon animals that are not heavily sedated, anesthetized or comatose and only when such licensed veterinarian determines that such intracardiac injection is the most humane option available.  Whenever a cardiac injection of sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital solution is administered by a licensed veterinarian upon an animal that is not heavily sedated, anesthetized or comatose, such veterinarian must document, in writing, the administration of such injection and the reason for its administration.  Such documentation shall be retained for at least three years.  Under no circumstances shall intracardiac injection be performed on animals that are not heavily sedated, anesthetized or comatose where such animals are under the care of any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal shelter, humane society or pound.

b. No animal shall be left unattended between the time that the euthanasia procedure begins and the time when death is confirmed.  The body of a euthanized animal shall not be disposed of in any manner until death is confirmed by a licensed veterinarian, a certified euthanasia technician or a licensed veterinary technician.  Violations of this paragraph shall be punishable by a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars.

The department of health shall promulgate regulations deemed necessary for implementation of the provisions of this subdivision, including regulations governing the training and certification of certified euthanasia technicians.

4. a. Any method of euthanasia other than that provided for in subdivision three of this section is prohibited except that euthanasia of an animal by gunshot is permissible as an emergency measure for an animal that is posing an imminent threat of serious physical injury to a person or to another animal as provided in section one hundred twenty-one-a of this chapter and where the use of a humane method of euthanasia prescribed in this section is rendered impossible or where a severely injured animal is suffering and cannot otherwise be aided.

b. Within ninety days of the effective date of this subdivision, any chamber used to induce hypoxia by means of a lethal gas shall be dismantled, rendered inoperable and beyond repair, and removed from the premises.  Violations of this paragraph shall be punishable by a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars.

5. No person shall release any dog or cat from the custody or control of any pound, shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, dog protective association, dog control officer, peace officer or any agent thereof, for any purpose except adoption or redemption by its owner, provided, however, that after the time for redemption has expired, release may be made to another such pound, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated animal protective association for the sole purpose of placing such animal in an adoptive home when such action is reasonably believed to improve the opportunity for adoption.  Notwithstanding the penalties set forth in paragraph b of subdivision three of this section and paragraph b of subdivision four of this section, any violation of this subdivision, subdivision two, three or four of this section, shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both.

6. In lieu of such destruction, redemption or other disposition pursuant to this section, such pound, shelter, or society may in its discretion lawfully and without liability deliver such animal for adoption to an individual other than the owner after the time for redemption has expired.

7. Prior to such destruction or other disposition, the owner of the animal may redeem the same upon proving title to the satisfaction of such society and paying such society such amount, approved by a magistrate, as may have been reasonably expended by such society in connection with the care and maintenance thereof.

8. a. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction for any violation of section three hundred fifty-one , three hundred fifty-three , three hundred fifty-three-a , three hundred fifty-three-b , three hundred fifty-five , three hundred fifty-six , three hundred fifty-nine , three hundred sixty , three hundred sixty-one , three hundred sixty-five or three hundred sixty-eight of this article, the convicted person may, after a duly held hearing pursuant to paragraph f of this subdivision, be ordered by the court to forfeit, to a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly incorporated humane society or authorized agents thereof, the animal or animals which are the basis of the conviction.  Upon such an order of forfeiture, the convicted person shall be deemed to have relinquished all rights to the animals which are the basis of the conviction, except those granted in paragraph d of this subdivision.

b. Pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions two, three, four and five of this section, no animal in the custody of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, a duly incorporated humane society, duly incorporated animal protective association, pound or its authorized agents thereof, shall be sold, transferred or otherwise made available to any person for the purpose of research, experimentation or testing.  No authorized agent of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, nor of a duly incorporated humane society, duly incorporated animal protective association or pound shall use any animal placed in its custody by the duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or duly incorporated humane society for the purpose of research, experimentation or testing.

c. The court may additionally order that the convicted person or any person dwelling in the same household who conspired, aided or abetted in the unlawful act which was the basis of the conviction, or who knew or should have known of the unlawful act, shall not own, harbor, or have custody or control of any other animals, other than farm animals, for a period of time which the court deems reasonable.

d. In the case of farm animals, the court may, in addition to the forfeiture to a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly incorporated humane society or authorized agents thereof, and subject to the restrictions of sections three hundred fifty-four and three hundred fifty-seven of this article, order the farm animals which were the basis of the conviction to be sold.  In no case shall farm animals which are the basis of the conviction be redeemed by the convicted person who is the subject of the order of forfeiture or by any person dwelling in the same household who conspired, aided or abetted in the unlawful act which was the basis of the conviction, or who knew or should have known of the unlawful act.  The court shall reimburse the convicted person and any duly determined interested persons, pursuant to paragraph f of this subdivision, any money earned by the sale of the farm animals less any costs including, but not limited to, veterinary and custodial care, and any fines or penalties imposed by the court.  The court may order that the subject animals be provided with appropriate care and treatment pending the hearing and the disposition of the charges.  Any farm animal ordered forfeited but not sold shall be remanded to the custody and charge of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or duly incorporated humane society or its authorized agent thereof and disposed of pursuant to paragraph e of this subdivision.

e. A duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly incorporated humane society in charge of animals forfeited pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision may, in its discretion, lawfully and without liability, adopt them to individuals other than the convicted person or person dwelling in the same household who conspired, aided or abetted in the unlawful act which was the basis of the conviction, or who knew or should have known of the unlawful act, or humanely dispose of them according to the provisions of subdivisions two, three, four and five of this section.

f. (1) Prior to an order of forfeiture of farm animals, a hearing shall be held within thirty days of conviction, to determine the pecuniary interests of any other person in the farm animals which were the basis of the conviction.  Written notice shall be served at least five days prior to the hearing upon all interested persons.  In addition, notice shall be made by publication in a local newspaper at least seven days prior to the hearing.  For the purposes of this subdivision, interested persons shall mean any individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity who the court determines may have a pecuniary interest in the farm animals which are the subject of the forfeiture action.

(2) All interested persons shall be provided an opportunity at the hearing to redeem their interest as determined by the court in the subject farm animals and to purchase the interest of the convicted person.  The convicted person shall be entitled to be reimbursed his interest in the farm animals, less any costs, fines or penalties imposed by the court, as specified under paragraph d of this subdivision.  In no case shall the court award custody or control of the animals to any interested person who conspired, aided or abetted in the unlawful act which was the basis of the conviction, or who knew or should have known of the unlawful act.

g. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict in any way the rights of a secured party having a security interest in any farm animal described in this section.  This section expressly does not impair or subordinate the rights of such a secured lender having a security interest in farm animals or in the proceeds from the sale of such farm animals.





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