Albany County Legislature, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society celebrate passage of Lulu’s Law

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On June 21, Lulu, the cat who inspired the Albany County Legislature’s most recent local law to promote feline adoption, made a special guest appearance at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

The County Legislature unanimously adopted Lulu’s Law on June 13. The law allows stray cats to find homes quickly by reducing their time in shelters from five days to three days if an owner can’t be identified by the collar, tag, microchip, tattoo, or another identifying mark.

Chairman Andrew Joyce sponsored the law because he wanted to help more cats find forever homes.

“We rescued our cat, Lulu, from Mohawk Hudson Humane Society when she was a kitten many years ago,” Joyce said. “Loving companions like Lulu make our lives better and make families complete. We are so proud of the unanimous passage of Lulu’s Law to make it easier for kittens like Lulu to find their forever homes faster.”

In 2021, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society completed 1,455 cat adoptions. According to the New York State Animal Protection Federation, 69 percent of cats that come into a shelter are either owner surrendered or stray cats. Out of this number, about 93 percent are adopted.

“We are thrilled with the passage of Lulu’s Law, which makes it possible for stray cats to find their forever homes more quickly. We thank Chairman Joyce and the Albany County Legislature for their advocacy for animals and hope that other counties will follow similar legislation,” said Ashley Jeffrey Bouck, CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

The law will help reduce the population of cats currently residing in shelters while enhancing their quality of life and decreasing the costs associated with sheltering them.

“In 2018, the NYS Animal Protection Federation advocated for a bill that would give local municipalities the ability to cut the hold time for cats from five to three days,” Libby Post, Executive Director of the NYS Animal Protection Federation said. “48 hours might not seem to make that big of a difference, but when the average cost to care for a homeless companion animal is at least $15/day, and you add up all the care days, it can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for individual shelters. When Mohawk Hudson Humane Society reached out to us about getting a bill passed locally, my first stop was known animal lover, Chair of the Albany County Legislature Andrew Joyce. He took up the mantle, named the bill for his cat that was adopted from Mohawk Hudson, and the bill passed unanimously. Regarding dogs and cats, there are no party lines — just compassion to do the right thing.”

To celebrate the law, MHHS announced that it would offer microchipping to all cats and dogs for $25 for the remainder of June. Any interested can make an appointment on the MHHS website.

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