An ASPCA-supported bill to shut down the flow of cruelly bred puppies into New York State, first introduced in 2019, was quickly reintroduced in the opening weeks of the state’s 2021 legislative session. Known as the New York Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill, it would end the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail pet stores, thereby interrupting the supply pipeline that traffics puppies from mills to storefronts. We are grateful to the bill’s sponsors, Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal, for working to protect pets and consumers.
Puppy mills are commercial dog-breeding facilities that make money by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly and cheaply as possible. These facilities are poorly regulated, permitting dogs to live in tiny, filthy cages where diseases easily spread. Dogs receive minimal veterinary care and are forced to breed nonstop—even if they are sick, weak or have serious hereditary issues that they could be passing on to their pups.
The conditions in which these dogs are kept would be unacceptable to almost anyone. But these facilities aren’t opening their doors to consumers. Instead, they employ a network of middlemen and transporters to ship puppies to stores in faraway states, where they are marketed as responsibly bred puppies from trusted breeders.
This is the year that could change. California, Maryland and over 350 cities and communities across the U.S. already have similar laws in place to prevent commercially bred puppies from being sold in pet stores. New York came close last year, when the Senate overwhelmingly passed this bill before the session ended.
“Having one of the country’s highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppies, New York State needs to end the sale of cruelly bred puppy mill dogs in pet shops by finally passing the New York Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “Shutting down the puppy mill pipeline will help stop unscrupulous breeders from engaging in—and profiting from—unconscionable brutality. This legislation passed the Senate last year, and we look forward to working with Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal this year to advance the bill through the full Legislature to make it law, signaling New York’s determination to reject animal cruelty statewide.”
Now, with the bill reintroduced, we need every New Yorker to contact their legislators in support of it.
“With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for pet stores to sell animals from abusive puppy mills. Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities. I will continue to fight for this legislation and build momentum with the support of our advocate allies, including the ASPCA," said bill sponsor and Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris.
Don’t live in New York? Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be notified when important animal-related legislation is introduced in your area! Towns across America have rejected the puppy mill pipeline, and yours could be next.