(Updated July 24, 2020) The New York State Senate has passed a ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet stores that obtain their animals from large commercial breeders.
According to the Times Union, it is “unclear” when the Assembly will take up the bill.
The legislation—introduced by Queens Sen. Michael Gianeris and Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal last year—will impact roughly 80 retail stores in the state if passed by the remaining legal channels.
According to Rosenthal, the new bill intends to end “the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline.”
Pet shops would be encouraged to work with rescue shelters or humane societies instead.
Puppy mills and breeders may still operate independently if the legislation is passed.
‘We Should Treat Our Four-Legged Companions With Respect’
A puppy mill—also referred to as a puppy farm—is a dog breeding facility that intensively, and in many cases, inhumanely, breeds dogs for sale.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) notes that “imprisoned dogs” at puppy mills can suffer from extreme mental and physical difficulties. These are often unapparent until after the animal has been bought.
After the Senate passed the bill, Gianeris said in a statement: “with so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for pet stores to sell animals that predominantly come from abusive puppy and kitten mills.”
He added: “Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities.”
Rosenthal said in a statement in March 2019: “Unsuspecting customers pay hundreds of dollars for a cute puppy or kitten. Only to find that the animal is incurably sick.”
She added: “By ensuring that pet stores can offer only rescues for adoption, this legislation will protect consumers, help to shut down the mills, and end the puppy-to-pet store pipeline.”
She added that animal shelters in the city are already packed with animals looking for their “forever home.”
New York has one of the highest concentrations of pet stores in the United States. The new legislation could change the lives of hundreds of animals.