City Hall Roundup: January

From The Desk of Al Vann: New animal laws and increased lending for small businesses

Passed on January 18, 2011

Dog Licensing Fees

The Council passed legislation (Intro 328-A) that will raise the licensing fee for dogs that are not spayed or neutered from $11.50 to $34. The bill is intended to encourage owners to spay and neuter their dogs to help control the animal population.

The additional $25.50 per license will go to a dedicated fund to subsidize animal population control programs and services, including pet owner education, free and low-cost spay and neutering and other veterinary services. The current fee to license a dog that is spayed or neutered is $8.50. The mayor signed the bill into law on February 1, 2011.


Tethering Animals Law

The City Council passed legislation (Intro 425-A) that prohibits a person from tethering an animal for more than 3 continuous hours in a 12-hour period. Under this new animal protection law, any person who tether an animal will be required to provide food, shelter and water for the animal and use an appropriate tether.

The tether must have swivels at both ends, be an adequate length for the type and size of animal restrained, and must not be too heavy, choke or pinch the animal or be likely to become entangled by its design or placement. The tether should also prevent the animal from moving outside of the owner's property and prevent the animal from moving over an object that could injure it.

First-time violators would be given a written warning or a fine of up to $250 if the animal is injured as a result of the prohibited tethering. A person who commits a repeat offense within a year would be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor carrying a fine up to $500 or imprisonment for up to 3 months or both, depending on the severity of the crime.

This bill will empower authorized officers, veterinarians and employees of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, agents of the ASPCA and any other person designated by the Commissioner of Health to enforce the law.


Launched on January 26

Increased Lending for Small Businesses

On January 26, the Council launched Credit Ready NYC, a citywide initiative to increase lending throughout the five boroughs by providing resources to small businesses struggling through the credit crunch. Credit Ready NYC assists small businesses by working with banks to steer entrepreneurs toward alternative lenders when appropriate.

The program also teaches small business owners how to best apply for a loan. Banking and small business organizations will be available for lending guidance and one-on-one counseling at small business fairs in all five boroughs.

A Small Business Resource Guide has also been made available and can be found at New York State Small Business Development Centers, New York City's Business Solution Centers, through 311 and on the Council website. A Brooklyn Small Business Fair will be slated for the end of March at St. Francis College.

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