Curtis Sliwa unveils 13-point animal welfare plan

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Mayoral hopeful Curtis Sliwa has unveiled his animal welfare platform that will ban backyard breeders, create “no-kill” shelters and put feral cats to work should he get elected, garnering endorsements from Sopranos bigwigs Dan Grimaldi, Joe Gannascoli and Robert Funaro. 

The 13-point plan, which Sliwa plans to unveil Wednesday, is centered around making the Big Apple a safer place for its furry inhabitants and includes proposals outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio made during his candidacy and then never delivered on. 

Like de Blasio, Sliwa wants to end the horse carriage industry once and for all and replace them with electric carriages. He said the horse-free alternative will prevent coachmen from losing their jobs and mimics similar initiatives implemented in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, India, Chicago and Germany.  

New York City Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa
NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa’s plan would ban backyard breeders, create “no-kill” shelters and put feral cats to work.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The Republican candidate also wants to create a “Department of Animal Welfare” that is similar to the Office of Animal Welfare de Blasio started during his tenure, but unlike Hizzoner’s version, Sliwa’s vision includes an agency that has more than one staffer and does more than send newsletters. 

“Backyard Breeders would go to the [Department of Animal Welfare] for their licensing applications, there will be a hotline where people can call in for animal cruelty tips, illegal backyard breeding tips, among other animal related crimes, and we will dispatch agents who would have peace officer status to investigate these reports,” Sliwa writes in the plan, adding it would generate revenue and create job opportunities. 

He’d also direct the department to create a public animal abuse registry that would log all New Yorkers who are convicted of animal abuse, similar to a sex-offender registry. 

Sliwa’s promise to create a “no-kill” shelter system, which he said would have a “ripple effect” across the country and follows behind big cities like Los Angeles and Austin, has garnered endorsements from three “Sopranos” cast members and Rob Thomas, Matchbox Twenty’s lead singer. 

“I support Curtis Sliwa’s no-kill shelters in New York City. Let’s make it happen everyone! Good luck, Curtis,” Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the hit HBO drama, said in a video clip. 

“I support Curtis Sliwa’s no-kill shelters. We have to do the right thing and protect our animal friends,” said Dan Grimaldi, who played Philly and Patsy Parisi. 

Robert Funaro, who played Eugene Pontecorvo, filmed a video of himself endorsing the no-kill plan over the summer. 

“Animals are our friends too. You know they are, so do the right thing,” Funaro said in the clip, pointing a foreboding finger at the camera. 

New York City Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa pets one of his cats as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his apartment, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021
Curtis Sliwa Sliwa wants to end the horse carriage industry.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Thomas said he “fully supports” the plan and hopes to see it implemented in the five boroughs “really soon.” 

“All the animals are counting on this. Thanks so much and good luck, Curtis,” the “3AM” crooner said in a video. 

Sliwa’s platform also includes promises to offer free spay and neuter services at city shelters, prosecute animal crimes “to the fullest extent of the law,” implement “humane education” for children and lobby against the sale of fur in the five boroughs. 

He further wants to create a “SNAP” program for pet owners where the city will cover $1,000 in pet expenses for anyone who rescues a pet, a GPS system for lost cats and dogs and more cat colonies for feral felines to help tamp down the rodent population.

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