New York

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NY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes


These New York statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" includes every living creature except a human being.  A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both.  Exclusions include properly conducted scientific tests, experiments or investigations, involving the use of living animals approved by the state commissioner of health.

NY - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

Nuijens v. Novy Plaintiff brought this action in Small Claims Court for the recovery of $254.63 after purchasing a dog from the Defendant. At the time of purchase, the Defendant gave a five day guarantee to the Plaintiff that if a veterinarian found anything wrong with the dog, the dog could be returned and the Plaintiff would receive a refund. The Plaintiff took the dog to a vet within five days and although she was told that the dog had a urinary infection, the Plaintiff kept the dog. Within 14 days of the sale, the Plaintiff learned that the infection was serious, and she contacted the Defendant requesting a refund under article 35-B of the General Business Law. The Court stated that Plaintiff's cause of action under the General Business Law failed: because it did not give the Plaintiff the right to recover damages, since the statute only covered "pet dealers" or "breeders" who sold more than one litter of animals per year. There was no evidence to indicate that the Defendant sold more than one litter of puppies. Also, because the Plaintiff chose not to return the dog for a refund within five days after learning about the infection, she could not seek recovery for breach of an express warranty (UCC 2-313). Lastly, because the Defendant was not a “merchant" the Plaintiff could not recover for the breach of an implied warranty (UCC 2-314).
Nuijens v. Novy


Plaintiff brought a New York Small Claims Court action seeking recovery of the sum of $254.63, after a licensed veterinarian determined that plaintiff's newly purchased dog was unfit according to Article 35-B of the General Business Law.  Specifically, plaintiff sought damages under two alternate theories: violation of the sale contract's five-day express warranty and violation of the implied warranty of merchantability.  Due to the vet's initial diagnosis, plaintiff did not return the dog.  The court held that plaintiff elected to forgo the express warranty by retaining the dog.  With regard to the implied warranty of merchantability, the court found defendant is not a "person who deals in goods of the kind" to fall within the definition of merchant under the statute.

Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. ex rel. Tommy v. Lavery The Petitioners, including the Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc . filed two petitions for habeas corpus relief on behalf of Tommy and Kiko, two adult male chimpanzees. The petitions stated that chimpanzees are intelligent, have the ability to be trained by humans to be obedient to rules, and to fulfill certain duties and responsibilities. Therefore, chimpanzees should be afforded some of the same fundamental rights as humans which include entitlement to habeas relief. The Respondents, included Tommy’s owners, Circle L Trailer Sales, Inc. and its officers, as well as Kiko’s owners, the Primate Sanctuary, Inc. and its officers and directors. The Supreme Court, New York County, declined to extend habeas corpus relief to the chimpanzees. The Petitioners appealed. The Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed and held that:(1) the petitions were successive habeas proceedings which were not warranted or supported by any changed circumstances; (2) human-like characteristics of chimpanzees did not render them “persons” for purposes of habeas corpus relief; and (3) even if habeas relief was potentially available to chimpanzees, writ of habeas corpus did not lie on behalf of two chimpanzees at issue.
Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of Tommy and Kiko v. The petitioner, Nonhuman Rights Project brought this appeal on behalf of Tommy and Kiko, who are two captive chimpanzees. The chimpanzees had been confined by their owners in small cages within a warehouse and a cement storefront in a crowded residential area, respectively. Petitioner sought leave to appeal from an order of the Appellate Division, which affirmed two judgments of the Supreme Court declining to sign orders to show cause to grant the chimpanzees habeas relief. The lower courts based their denial of habeas corpus for the chimpanzees on the dictionary definition for "person." The term “person” tends to lean towards an entity that is recognized by law as having most of the rights and duties of a human. The Appellate Division also reasoned that chimpanzees are not considered people because they lack the capacity to bear legal duties or to be held legally accountable for their actions. As a counter, the Petitioner argued that the same can be said for human infants or comatose human adults, yet no one would say that it is improper to seek a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of one of them. The Appellate Division therefore based their denial on the fact that chimpanzees are not a member of the human species. In the instant action, Court of Appeals of New York denied the motion for leave to appeal. In the concurring opinion, Judge Fahey states that the better approach is not to ask whether a chimpanzee fits the definition of a person or whether it has the same rights and duties as a human being, but whether he or she has the right to liberty protected by habeas corpus. The concurring opinion also found that the Appellate Division erred by misreading the case it relied on and holding that a habeas corpus challenge cannot be used to seek transfer; a habeas corpus challenge can be used to seek a transfer to another facility. Although Judge Fahey recognizes that Chimpanzees share at least 96% of their DNA with humans and are autonomous, intelligent creatures, he concurred with the Appellate Division’s decision to deny leave to appeal. However, he ultimately questioned whether the Court was right to deny leave in the first instance.
Nigro v. New York Racing Ass'n, Inc.


An experienced exercise rider sued the owner of a race track seeking damages for personal injury after the horse she was riding fell on her while crossing a gravel-strewn asphalt road. The Supreme Court held that the rider assumed the risk that the horse might fall by choosing to cross the road despite being aware of the danger. The doctrine of “primary assumption of the risk” applied, and the owner of the premises was not at fault.

New York Revised Statutes 1874: Chapter 12: Sections 1-8


Chapter 12, entitled "An act relating to animals," concerns New York's Law about the treatment of animals from 1874.

New York Revised Statutes 1867: Chapter 375: Sections 1-10


Chapter 375, entitled "An act for the more effectual prevention of animal cruelty," concerns New York's law on animal treatment for 1867. 

New York Revised Statutes 1866: Chapter 783: Sections 1-10


Chapter 783, entitled "An act for the more effectual prevention of animal cruelty," concerns New York's Law on animal treatment for 1866. 

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