Governor Signs Legislation Protecting Pets From Abandonment During Eviction

ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday to protect pets from being abandoned during an eviction. The law requires officers executing a warrant of eviction to check the property for pets and to coordinate the safe removal of such animals with the evictee.

“I know firsthand how pets quickly become members of your family and it is absurd that in these instances a living animal can be treated the same as a possession and be put in harm’s way,” Cuomo said. “I’m proud to sign this measure that will protect beloved family pets and solve this issue once and for all.”

When an eviction order is executed, a marshal takes possession of the property located within the evictee’s premises, prepares a written inventory of all items inside, stores the items for a specified amount of time, and then allows the evicted tenant to later retrieve their items.

Current law does not distinguish between the treatment of a couch and an animal, which can result in the abandonment of pets. The law signed Thursday is meant to addresse this oversight to help ensure the safety and care of pets.

“Pets are family members too, and we are taking action to protect our four-legged friends,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation will ensure the safety of animals during the eviction process. Pets should be treated in a safe, responsible, and humane manner, and no animal should be abandoned.”

 

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