Bill S6546-2013

Relates to designating the service dog as the official state dog

Relates to designating the service dog as the official state dog.






TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state law, in relation to designating service dogs as the official state dog


To designate Service & Working Dogs as the Official State Dog of New York


Section 1: The state law is amended by adding a new section 89 designating the Service & Working Dog as the Official Dog of New York State.

Section 2: Establishes the effective date.


In New York State, service and working dogs have made an unquestionable impact on our daily lives. Every day, across New York, service and working dogs protect, comfort, and give their friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran, as well as children and seniors in need of assistance or simply an attentive friend. Our State Dog should acknowledge the hard work and dedicated commitment of humanity's best friend in all facets of our lives. Recognizing the efforts of the working dog will foster a better appreciation of dogs and their contributions to the betterment of our daily lives, which goes well beyond that of being really great pets. Building a foundation of respect for working dogs can be an effective tool in helping to prevent abuse and neglect for all dogs in New York. In addition, this legislation can help to raise awareness about the possibility of adoption of service dogs upon their retirement, particularly those dogs who serve in the military.

In 1997, New York State made history when the first Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) program was developed to teach prison inmates to raise and train service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection dogs for law enforcement. Throughout the state, from the Staten Island Ferry to the Canadian border, service dogs are used for vehicle and truck checks, check-point operations, cargo checks, interior and exterior building sweeps, and mass-area sweeps.

Throughout the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their brave handlers combed Ground Zero for survivors. Alongside the FDNY and other teams sorting through the debris, these dogs worked around the clock to locate survivors and casualties in the rubble. The same holds true recently after Superstorm Sandy hit our shores.

Since 1975, the New York State Police have used a highly skilled and effective Canine Unit. Originally conceived as a way of keeping secure the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, the unit now operates out of Cooperstown, through the generosity of the Clark Foundation. Recognizing the importance of the K-9 Unit, philanthropist Jane Forbes Clark has provided the unit with a training facility unlike any other

in the United States. These dogs, generously donated by Humane Societies, private citizens, and breeders across the northeast, undergo a rigorous training process. Currently, 66 teams of extensively trained dogs and handlers specialize in either narcotics or bomb detection, tracking, building searches, veterinary first aid, and land navigation.

Further protecting New Yorkers, the MTA's 50-member K-9 Unit is the nation's largest police explosive detection group, providing 24-hour security through the agency's transportation network, with an emphasis on the rails. Named in honor of fallen uniformed personnel, from the police or military, more than half of the dogs used by the MTA are trained in another discipline, such as locating missing persons, fleeing suspects, or missing evidence. At New York's parks, farms, golf courses, and airports, conservation and herding dogs are used to patrol the grounds while providing a non-lethal means of managing wildlife, particularly birds and geese, in the area.

Working and service dogs can change the lives of those they come in contact. Service and working dogs, including mobility assistance dogs for the physically handicapped, guide dogs for the visually impaired, and hearing dogs for the hearing impaired help people with various disabilities in everyday tasks.

These devoted companions provide relief, comfort, and inspiration during times of stress. As first responders to natural and man-made disasters, crime scene investigators, seeing-eye companions, therapists, public safety enforcers, and search & rescue specialists, among many other things, the service/working dog embodies the spirit of New York - hard working, loyal, and eager to serve.


New bill.




This act shall take effect immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6546 IN SENATE February 4, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. BALL -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the state law, in relation to designating service dogs as the official state dog THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The state law is amended by adding a new section 89 to read as follows: S 89. STATE DOG. THE SERVICE DOG SHALL BE THE OFFICIAL DOG OF THE STATE. "SERVICE DOG" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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