Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris Announces Senate Advances Legislation to Combat Puppy Mill Pipeline

Bill Would Ban the Sale of Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits in Retail Pet Stores

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced his legislation (S.1130/A.4283) to prohibit sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits in retail pet stores will be advanced by the state Senate on Wednesday.

“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. “I thank my colleagues for joining me in passing this important legislation and look forward to working with Assembly Member Rosenthal to get this bill over the finish line.”

“We can seize this moment to save countless animals from suffering by cutting off the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline once and for all,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), Chair of the Social Services Committee. “Preventing the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores won’t just protect animals, it will also save customers the great heartache and expense that comes with falling in love with an animal that is destined by its breeding to become irreparably sick. My colleagues in the New York State Assembly have a long and proud record of standing up for defenseless animals. I, along with the hundreds of thousands of animals lovers in this State, are waiting to end the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline by passing bill A. 4283.”

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.

Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO said, “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. Shutting down the puppy mill pipeline will help stop unscrupulous breeders from engaging in—and profiting from—unconscionable brutality. We are thrilled to see the Senate pass this bill, and we look forward to working with Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Rosenthal to advance the bill through the full Legislature to make it law, signaling New York’s determination to reject animal cruelty statewide.”

Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation said, “Once again, the State Senate has done the right thing. They’ve taken action by passing the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill. There’s no one else to speak up for companion animals except the humans who care about them. Puppy mills are horrible—female dogs are bread until they can no longer reproduce. Then they are killed. Puppies are ordered off a menu of options, shipped across country without care and then sold to unsuspecting consumers who many times take home dogs that are sick and don’t survive. This is not humane.  We will continue to speak out until the Assembly passes and the Governor signs the bill.”

Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the Humane Society of the United States said, “Today’s meaningful Senate vote delivered an exciting victory for both companion animals and advocates across the state. Senator Gianaris continues to be one of the strongest leaders in the legislature, making New York a better place for our pets and a more humane society for all of us.”

Christopher Wlach, Chair, New York City Bar Association Animal Law Committee said, “New York has a long and proud tradition of protecting animals through its laws. This bill is no exception. It targets the cruel commercial breeding of dogs, cats, and rabbits, promotes animal adoption, and protects consumers and the environment. The New York City Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee applauds the Senate for moving the bill one step closer to enactment.”

Allie Feldman Taylor, President, Voters For Animal Rights said, “Voters For Animal Rights is pleased by the Senate's progress, putting us one step closer to passing this much-needed legislation to protect animals and consumers from businesses that put profits over compassion, and we look forward to the state Assembly following suit soon. This law will save thousands of dogs, cats, and rabbits from immeasurable suffering. Voters For Animal Rights applauds Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Rosenthal for leading the pack to shut down the cruel puppy mill pipeline in New York.”