NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced on December 15 that his legislation (S.1130) to stop the puppy mill pipeline was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. The legislation bans the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail pet stores.
“Today is a great day for our four-legged friends and a big step forward in our fight against abusive and inhumane puppy mills,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “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. I also thank my friend Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and the indefatigable advocates who made this possible.”
Most of the animals available for sale in pet stores come from notorious dog, cat and bunny mills, which are known to be inhumane. Offspring of mill animals often have congenital issues resulting from poor breeding and can cost families thousands of dollars in veterinary care.
Pet breeders and stores are loosely regulated under the Animal Welfare Act by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Recent investigations revealed, however, that under the Trump administration, USDA inspectors have been less aggressive in enforcing these regulations. In addition, the USDA is issuing fewer serious violations that would ordinarily trigger swift follow-up by the agency.
According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state agency tasked with regulating pet dealers, there are approximately 80 pet stores registered throughout the state.
The bill, which first passed the Senate in 2021, passed both houses in June.