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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Animal Rights Issue Used for NYC Fee Generation

A new release from New York City community activist Donny Moss charges that City Council Speaker (and presumed 2013 mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn is giving the public the false impression that she's helping the neediest New Yorkers when she's only helping herself.

Quinn is pushing two animal-related bills through the City Council.  One bill raises the license fee for pets who aren't spayed or neutered.  This is an administrative issue that was supposed to be handled by the Department of Health (not the City Council), according to an unrevealed State Assembly Member who claims to be familiar with this issue.

The second bill prohibits people from chaining their dogs in their backyards for more than three hours. Dog chaining is horribly abusive (to the dogs and to the people who have to hear their barking while their narcissistic owner is blocks away sipping on a macchiato latte!), but it's not a big problem in the City, according to the many local animal activists with whom Moss has spoken.  However, even if chaining were a problem somewhere, the law might be unenforceable, as explained in this NY1 story.

Neither the licensing bill nor the chaining bill is a legislative priority for the local animal activist community. So why is Quinn using city resources on these new bills as opposed to the many existing bills that would, in fact, reduce animal suffering in the City? Here's a theory why: These bills require her to expend no political capital, but allow her to hold another press conference stating that "she cares about the welfare of animals." Free publicity! Dog lovers around the city will open their newspapers, learn about the horrors of dog chaining and be grateful that Quinn is putting a stop to it -- not realizing that it's largely irrelevant. 
Quinn pulled a similarly deceitful stunt in April, 2010, and Moss made a short video to document it:  (Video provided by Moss; CPP expresses no opinion and disclaims all responsibility for its content.). In Moss' opinion, dirty tactics like those he documented reinforce why it is -- in his opinion -- important to continue to educate New Yorkers about why Christine Quinn should be voted out of public office for good.

As an aside, these bills were very likely introduced as a reaction to protests, but, in typical fashion, the ASPCA has stepped in to take credit and raise money.  If protecting animals from cruelty is their priority, then the management at the ASPCA should be criticizing these bills as the window dressing that they are and demanding that Quinn act on the many other bills she has blocked that would actually reduce animal suffering in the City.

Comments on the foregoing are welcome. The foregoing expresses the commentary of Donny Moss and is provided here for informational purposes. These views do not necessarily reflect the views of Crime, Politics and Policy nor of its owner Eric Dixon.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and strategic analyst who represents business, political and individual clients through Eric Dixon LLC.  Mr. Dixon is available for consultation and comment on various legal, business and policy issues at 917-696-2442 and via e-mail at

Eric Dixon
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