Senator Fuschillo Announces Passage of Legislation to Protect Animals From Abuse

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

August 22, 2013

Legislation Would Give Local Governments the Authority to Regulate Pet Dealers and Breeders in their Communities 

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that legislation he supports to help protect animals from abuse has recently been passed by the New York State Legislature. The legislation (S. 3753A) would allow municipalities to regulate pet dealers as long as the law, rule, regulation, or ordinance is not less stringent than state law. 

     “As the owner of a rescue dog, it sickens me that there are people who are disturbed enough to abuse innocent animals, but far too often we hear of animals being kept under inhumane conditions,” said Senator Fuschillo. “Giving local governments greater power to regulate pet stores and dealers in their communities would help ensure that animals are properly treated in the way they deserve. Governor Cuomo should sign this legislation when it reaches his desk.” 

     Local governments have been successful in prosecuting animal cruelty after they have been reported but are unable to take preventive steps to ensure the health and safety of pets being bred or sold. These same local governments often absorb the costs associated with unregulated breeders and their unwanted litters through cruelty seizures, sheltering costs, and legal proceedings, all of which cost taxpayers money. 

     The legislation would allow municipalities to pass their own local laws regulating pet stores, breeders, and dealers within their communities to ensure that animals are receiving appropriate care and being housed in humane conditions. The laws would have to be at least as strict as existing state law. New York is one of the only states in the country that does not currently give local governments this authority.

     If approved, the legislation would build upon a recently signed law that will give consumers more protections when purchasing a pet. That law will allow consumers to either return the animal and get a refund or recover reasonable veterinary costs to care for the animal if it is diagnosed with a congenital defect or illness within six months of the purchase date. Current law only affords consumers these protections within 14 days of the date of purchase, which is often not enough time to detect these malformations in a young animal.