Statement From Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal On Humane Society Investigation Into Horrifying Conditions At USDA-Licensed Puppy Mills

NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) issued the following statement after the Humane Society of the United States’ announcement of the results of a major investigation into puppy mills across the United States. Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal are the sponsors of New York’s landmark legislation to end the puppy mill to pet store pipeline, banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in retail pet stores and allowing pet stores to instead make space available to display animals that are available for adoption.

“With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for puppy mills that abuse animals to supply pet stores. Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “The Humane Society’s work demonstrates the need we have to shut down the puppy mill to pet store pipeline and I look forward to passing this critical legislation next year.”

 “A full quarter of New York’s retail pet stores get their animals from places where outright cruelty and indifference to suffering is baked into the business model,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. “Puppy mills and pet stores hide behind the ‘USDA stamp of approval’ to denote quality, but in this case, it’s a meaningless designation that does not protect consumers or prevent animal abuse. Our legislation gets to the heart of the puppy mill to pet store pipeline, and with so many innocent animals in need of a home, there’s no reason to support a business built on suffering.”

According to HSUS, at least eight of the puppy mill breeders revealed in their investigation sold animals to 20 pet stores in New York State. New York is the state with the largest number of puppy-selling pet stores in the nation.

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 State Senate passed this legislation in 2020. The two legislators are working to achieve passage in both houses next year. 

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