Local players warn that the new state prohibition from 2024 will compromise the future of retailers.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the so-called Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill on 15 December 2022 claiming that pets across the state “deserve loving homes and humane treatment.”
The ban, that will only take effect in December 2024, aims to stop the purchase and sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from “large-scale, abusive breeders that lack proper veterinary care, food, or socialization.”
“I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state,” said Governor Hochul.
The new regulation will allow pet stores to host adoption facilities in conjunction with animal shelters or rescue organizations to help connect New Yorkers with pets in need of a home. Pet stores will be able to charge shelters rent to use their space for adoptions.
Compromising the future of small businesses
The local pet industry has raised concerns about the impact this new regulation will have on the existing 80 pet stores across the state.
The Pet Advocacy Network has condemned the ban. President and CEO Mike Bober admitted, “By signing [the bill] into law, the New York Governor has destroyed the livelihoods of law-abiding small business owners and removed longstanding legal protections for animals and families who adopt puppies, kittens, and rabbits.
“Eliminating the state’s most highly regulated and inspected pet source—the only source required to provide consumer warranties that give new pet owners peace of mind—makes no sense.”
He believes that the legislation will cause New York’s local pet stores to go out of business, lay off their employees, and have a negative ripple effect throughout their communities during “turbulent economic times.”
The Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill has received support from leading animal welfare groups.
“By ending the sale of cruelly bred puppy mill dogs in state pet shops, New York is shutting down the pipeline that enables retail sellers and commercial breeders to profit from unconscionable brutality,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
According to Bershadker, “New York will go from having one of the country’s highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies to a place that refuses to be an accomplice in this cruel process.”
The Animal Legal Defence Fund also applauded the legislation. “We are immensely grateful to Governor Hochul for signing the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law,” said its Executive Director, Stephen Wells.
What do policymakers say?
This bill was “overwhelmingly approved” by policymakers across the country.
State Senator Michael Gianaris said, “Today is a great day for our four-legged friends and a big step forward in our fight against abusive and inhumane puppy mills. My thanks to Governor Hochul for standing up for the voiceless loving animals who are members of our families and deserve the respect we’ve shown them today.”
“New York State will no longer allow brutally inhumane puppy mills around the country to supply our pet stores and earn a profit off animal cruelty and unsuspecting consumers,” added Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, by ending the sale of these animals in pet stores, “shelters and rescues will be able to partner with pet stores to showcase adoptable animals and place them into forever homes.”
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