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ASPCA Urges Gov. Cuomo to Sign Bill to Regulate Pet Dealers

New York legislators vote to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities
June 22, 2013

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the New York Senate for passing a bill to regulate pet dealers in the final hours of the state's 2013 session. The bill, S. 3753-A, sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), authorizes local governments to crack down on cruel and unscrupulous pet dealers throughout the state of New York. The companion bill in the Assembly, sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), passed earlier this month, and the bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"New York lawmakers have taken a critical step to reduce animal suffering, protect consumers and ease the financial burdens of municipalities by authorizing them to enact more stringent pet dealer laws and allowing citizens to have a voice regarding these retail businesses," said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. "We thank Senator Grisanti, Assemblymember Rosenthal, and conference leadership for pushing this legislation across the finish line, and we urge Governor Cuomo to sign this much-needed bill into law."

S. 3753-A repeals the provisions of both the Agriculture and Markets Law and General Business Law, which prevent local governments from exercising their home rule powers to regulate breeders and pet stores throughout the state. It does not replace or compromise the state's existing authority over pet dealers, but rather allows municipalities the option for greater local control and management if desired in their communities. The dogs housed in the state's commercial breeding operations typically spend their lives in tiny, cramped, wire-floored cages that are stacked on top of each other, often outdoors, with no protection from the elements.

"For more than a decade laws regulating pet dealers in New York have failed to adequately protect the dogs in our state's many commercial breeding facilities," said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA's Puppy Mills Campaign. "We thank lawmakers for recognizing that it is time to stop putting profit over animal protection and taking a stand on this important issue."

The ASPCA's "No Pet Store Puppies" campaign aims to reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by urging consumers to pledge not to buy any items--including food, supplies or toys--from stores or websites that sell puppies. The campaign recently launched a new consumer tool on NoPetStorePuppies.com to allow consumers to link pet stores that sell puppies with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed commercial dog breeders that supply puppies to pet stores around the country.

For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA's Advocacy Brigade please visit, www.aspca.org.