New York

Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals.

Animal Protection Laws Ranking

Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. Each state is ranked based on 20 different categories of animal protection.

New York
Overall Rank: #33 (Middle Tier)

  • +Veterinarians must report suspected cruelty to a companion animal and have immunity for doing so
  • +Peace officers have a duty to enforce animal cruelty laws
  • -Standards for minimum acceptable care for animals (e.g. necessary food, water, shelter) are not well-defined
  • -No felony provisions for sexual assault of animals, or for negligent or reckless neglect or abandonment
  • -Social service professionals are not required to report suspected animal cruelty

Legislative Session

Active Legislation


Ryder’s Law

Intro 573
Proposed New York City legislation will phase out and ban horse-drawn carriages in the city and replace them with horseless, electric carriages.
Banning Killing Contests (New York)

Banning Killing Contests (New York)

Proposed legislation would prohibit harassing or killing certain wildlife at competitive events.
cat and dog

Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (New York)

Courtroom Animal Advocates (S.1659/A.111)
The New York Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) bill would provide for an advocate in criminal cases concerning the welfare or care of an animal.

Active Cases

No results found.

Take Action

Take action now to help animals in your state.

Ryder the horse collapsed on 9th Street in New York City

New York City: Protect Horses

Horses in New York City are suffering! It is time for NYC to take the next step to protect animals and ban the use of horse-drawn carriages. Take action today!
kittens in carrier

New York City: Show your support for the animal sentience resolution!

New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera has introduced Resolution 260 recognizing the sentience of animals. Sign the petition today to show your support of the nonbinding resolution that recognizes animals are individuals capable of wide-ranging experiences and emotions, who have intrinsic value and deserve to be treated with compassion.
cat and dog

New York: Ask Your Legislators to Protect Animal Cruelty Victims!

S.1659/A.111 provides for an advocate in criminal cases concerning the welfare or care of an animal. Courtroom Animal Advocate Programs allow advocates — supervised law students or volunteer lawyers — to advocate for animal victims in criminal cruelty cases.

Stop Ag-Gag Laws

Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.

No More Puppy Mills

Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end cruel puppy mills.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Want to take the next step in your animal advocacy? Learn the skills you need to pass laws protecting animals at the local level! Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community but prime state legislation.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Learn how to fight back against the cruel fur industry by passing a fur ban in your community! Led by Animal Legal Defense Fund Campaigns Manager Elizabeth Holtz, this webinar will walk you through the mechanics of fur production, the policy issues, including animal cruelty, environmental impacts, and public health, and more.

Past Victories

puppy mills

Puppy Mill Pipeline Act (New York)

The Puppy Mill Pipeline Act would prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in retail stores.

New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (New York)

Prohibits the manufacture or sale of cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2023 (A.5653-A/ S.4839)
The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, A.5653-A/S.4839, would prohibit the manufacture or sale of most cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2023.

Strengthening Protections for Carriage Horses Forced to Work in Extreme Heat (NYC)

The Carriage Horse Heat Relief Bill (Intro 1425)
The Animal Legal Defense Fund was a member of the coalition supporting Intro 1425 — prohibiting carriage horses from working when the heat index is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Banning the Sale of Foie Gras in New York City

Bans the sale or provision of certain force-fed poultry products (Intro 1378)
Bans the sale of foie gras — a cruelly-produced “gourmet” delicacy that comes from force-feeding young ducks and geese until their livers swell to up to eight times their natural size — in New York City.

Demanding Public Records Relating to Invasive Cat Experiments

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to compel the disclosure of public records regarding invasive experiments on cats and kittens conducted by the State University of New York College of Optometry.