The New York state legislature has passed a measure, A. 740-A/S. 3753-A that will allow municipalities to regulate puppy mills. Under current law only the Department of Agriculture and Markets can regulate “pet dealers” which are basically dog and cat breeders”. The state defines a “pet dealer” as “any person who engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals per year for profit to the public. Such definition shall include breeders who sell or offer to sell animals; provided that a breeder who sells or offers to sell directly to the consumer fewer than twenty-five animals per year that are born and raised on the breeder’s residential premises shall not be considered a pet dealer as a result of selling or offering to sell such animals. Such definition shall further not include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged.”
The Department of Ag & Mkts maintains a severely underfunded inspection program for pet dealers; as soon as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the measure and it takes effect, the municipalities can now assist by passing their own regulations and taking action to rid their communities of cruel puppy mills.
Under the bill municipalities can pass ordinances or take action to protect the health or safety of animals held by pet dealers, regulate the source of animals offered for sale by pet dealers, including requiring spay/neuter before sale, and protect consumers. The only limit is that municipalities cannot ban all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner”. Also, penalties cannot exceed $500 per violation.
Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Sen. Mark Grisanti were sponsors.