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This entry was published on 2019-11-08
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Minimum standards of animal care
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 26-A
§ 401. Minimum standards of animal care. Pet dealers shall comply with
the following minimum standards of care for every animal in their
custody or possession.

1. Housing. (a) Animals shall be housed in primary enclosures or
cages, which shall be constructed so as to be structurally sound. Such
enclosures shall be maintained in good repair to contain the animal
housed inside and protect it from injury. Surfaces shall have an
impervious surface so as not to permit the absorption of fluids and
which can be thoroughly and repeatedly cleaned and disinfected without
retaining odors.

(b) Primary enclosures or cages housing the animals shall provide
sufficient space to allow each animal adequate freedom of movement to
make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up,
turn around, and lie down with its limbs outstretched. If the flooring
is constructed of metal strands, such strands must either be greater
than one-eighth inch in diameter (nine gauge wire) or shall be coated
with a material such as plastic or fiberglass, and shall be constructed
so as not to allow passage of the animal's feet through any opening in
the floor of the enclosure. Such flooring shall not sag or bend
substantially between structural supports.

(c) Housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated at all times to
provide for the health and well-being of the animal. Ventilation shall
be provided by natural or mechanical means, such as windows, vents,
fans, or air conditioners. Ventilation shall be established to minimize
drafts, odors, and moisture condensation.

(d) The temperature surrounding the animal shall be compatible with
the health and well-being of the animal. Temperature shall be regulated
by heating and cooling to sufficiently protect each animal from extremes
of temperature and shall not be permitted to fall below or rise above
ranges which would pose a health hazard to the animal. This shall
include supplying shade from sunlight by natural or artificial means.

(e) The indoor facilities housing the animals shall be provided with
adequate lighting sufficient to permit routine inspection and cleaning
and be arranged so that each animal is protected from excessive
illumination which poses a health hazard to the animal. Animal areas
must be provided with regular diurnal light cycles of either natural or
artificial light.

(f) The indoor and outdoor facilities housing the animals, including
the primary enclosure or cage, shall be designed to allow for the
efficient elimination of animal waste and water in order to keep the
animal dry and prevent the animal from coming into contact with these
substances. If drains are used they shall be constructed in a manner to
minimize foul odors and backup of sewage. If a drainage system is used
it shall comply with federal, state, and local laws relating to
pollution control.

(g) In the event that a pet dealer has a pregnant or nursing dog on
his or her premises, the pet dealer shall provide a whelping box for
such dog. Separate and apart from the whelping box, a pet dealer shall
provide a pregnant or nursing dog with a separate space accessible to
her that complies with the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this
subdivision. Each nursing dog shall be provided with a sufficient amount
of floor space to nurse and care for her litter.

(h) Pet dealers shall designate and provide an isolation area for
animals that exhibit symptoms of contagious disease or illness. The
location of such designated area must be such as to prevent or reduce
the spread of disease to healthy animals and must otherwise meet all
housing requirements of this section.

2. Sanitation. Housing facilities, including primary enclosures and
cages, shall be kept in a clean condition in order to maintain a healthy
environment for the animal. This shall include removing and destroying
any agents injurious to the health of the animal and periodic cleanings.
Primary enclosures must be cleaned daily and sanitized at least once
every two weeks by washing all soiled surfaces with appropriate
detergent solutions and disinfectant or by using a combination detergent
or disinfectant product that accomplishes the same purpose with a
thorough cleaning of the surfaces to remove excreta, feces, hair, dirt,
debris and food waste to permit effective sanitization, followed by a
clean water rinse. The primary enclosure or cage shall be constructed so
as to eliminate excess water, excretions, and waste material. Under no
circumstances shall the animal remain inside the primary enclosure or
cage while it is being cleaned with sterilizing agents or agents toxic
to animals or cleaned in a manner likely to threaten the health and
safety of the animal. Trash and waste products on the premises shall be
properly contained and disposed of so as to minimize the risks of
disease, contamination, and vermin.

3. Feeding and watering. (a) Animals shall be provided with wholesome
and palatable food, free from contamination and of nutritional value
sufficient to maintain each animal in good health.

(b) Animals shall be adequately fed at intervals not to exceed twelve
hours or at least twice in any twenty-four hour period in quantities
appropriate for the animal species and age, unless determined otherwise
by and under the direction of a duly licensed veterinarian.

(c) Sanitary food receptacles shall be provided in sufficient number,
of adequate size, and so located as to enable each animal in the primary
enclosure or cage to be supplied with an adequate amount of food.

(d) Animals shall be provided with regular access to clean, fresh
water, supplied in a sanitary manner sufficient for its needs, except
when there are instructions from a duly licensed veterinarian to
withhold water for medical reasons.

4. Handling. Each animal shall be handled in a humane manner so as not
to cause the animal physical injury or harm.

5. Veterinary care. (a) Any pet dealer duly licensed pursuant to this
article shall designate an attending veterinarian, who shall provide
veterinary care to the dealer's animals which shall include a written
program of veterinary care and regular visits to the pet dealer's
premises. Such program of veterinary care shall include:

(i) The availability of appropriate facilities, personnel, equipment,
and services to comply with the provisions of this article;

(ii) The use of methods determined to be appropriate by the attending
veterinarian to prevent, control, and respond to diseases and injuries,
and the availability of emergency, weekend, and holiday care;

(iii) Daily observation of all animals to assess their health and
well-being; provided, however, that daily observation of animals may be
accomplished by someone other than the attending veterinarian who has
received the guidance identified in subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph;
and provided, further, that a mechanism of direct and frequent
communication is required so that timely and accurate information on
problems of animal health, behavior, and well-being is conveyed to the
attending veterinarian;

(iv) Adequate guidance to personnel involved in the care and use of
animals regarding handling and immobilization;

(v) Pre-procedural and post-procedural care in accordance with
established veterinary medical and nursing procedures; and

(vi) In the case of dealers who sell or offer to sell twenty-five or
more dogs or cats per year to the public for profit that are born and
raised on the dealer's residential premises, annual veterinary
examinations, at a minimum, for all intact adult dogs or cats on such
dealer's premises.

(b) All animals shall be inoculated as required by state or local law.
Veterinary care appropriate to the species shall be provided without
undue delay when necessary. Each animal shall be observed each day by
the pet dealer or by a person working under the pet dealer's

(c) Within five business days of receipt, but prior to sale of any dog
or cat, the pet dealer shall have a duly licensed veterinarian conduct
an examination and tests appropriate to the age and breed to determine
if the animal has any medical conditions apparent at the time of the
examination that adversely affect the health of the animal. For animals
eighteen months of age or older, such examination shall include a
diagnosis of any congenital conditions that adversely affect the health
of the animal. Any animal diagnosed with a contagious disease shall be
treated and caged separately from healthy animals.

(d) If an animal suffers from a congenital or hereditary condition,
disease, or illness which, in the professional opinion of the pet
dealer's veterinarian, requires euthanasia, the veterinarian shall
humanely euthanize such animal without undue delay.

(e) In the event an animal is returned to a pet dealer due to a
congenital or hereditary condition, illness, or disease requiring
veterinary care, the pet dealer shall, without undue delay, provide the
animal with proper veterinary care.

6. Humane euthanasia. Humane euthanasia of an animal shall be carried
out in accordance with section three hundred seventy-four of this

7. Exercise requirements. Pet dealers shall develop, maintain,
document, and implement an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the
opportunity for daily exercise. In developing such plan, consideration
should be given to providing positive physical contact with humans that
encourages exercise through play or other similar activities. Such plan
shall be approved by the attending veterinarian, and must be made
available to the department upon request.

8. Grooming. All animals shall be groomed regularly to prevent
excessive matting of fur, overgrown toenails and flea and tick