Edie Falco Leads List of Acclaimed New York Artists and Entertainers in Open Letter Urging State Lawmakers to Shut Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline

Stars of stage, screen and music join the ASPCA to speak out against puppy mill cruelty
May 10, 2021

NEW YORK – Legendary actress and lifelong New Yorker Edie Falco has teamed up with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to spearhead an open letter calling on the New York State Legislature to pass A.4283/S.1130, state legislation to shut down the puppy mill pipeline for good. Sponsored by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill would end the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in New York pet stores. 

This cause is close to Edie’s heart, given her longtime support for animal welfare and her own rescue dog, Sami, who is a puppy mill survivor. 

“My dog Sami spent two years living in a box, in the dark, without a name. She was forced to have puppies who were sold to pet stores, and that was her life,” said Ms. Falco. “Every day, puppies are shipped to New York pet stores through a pipeline of out-of-state breeders. New York State lawmakers have the opportunity to break this cycle of cruelty, and I urge them to take action to finally end the retail sale of puppies in pet stores.” 

Ms. Falco is joined in the open letter by Alec Baldwin, Andy Cohen, Anjelica Huston, Beth Behrs, Brooke Shields, Dr. Evan Antin, Jennifer Coolidge, Justin Theroux, Kristin Chenoweth, Lake Bell, Maxwell Jenkins, Nathan Lane, Sir Patrick Stewart, Patrick Wilson, Paul Anka, Peyton List, and Whitney Cummings

Right now, there are thousands of puppies for sale in New York pet stores. Most of these puppies got here through a pipeline of out-of-state breeders who ship animals from puppy mills to pet stores in New York communities. Puppy mill dogs spend their lives confined to cramped cages, never knowing the joys of playtime or human affection. Dogs in these facilities are bred at every opportunity, even if they are sick, injured, exhausted or have genetic traits that could be damaging to their puppies.

Part of the open letter calls out this cycle of cruelty, which is made possible because in New York, it’s still legal to sell dogs in pet stores:

“Few people would support an industry that keeps dogs in such horrible conditions, but pet stores rely on deception and emotions to sell their puppies, marketing them to New Yorkers as healthy dogs from responsible breeders, which is far from the truth.”

Poor puppy mill conditions make animals vulnerable to diseases and parasites, while careless and accelerated breeding protocols also lead to hereditary health defects. A survey commissioned by the ASPCA revealed that one in four people bought a puppy from a pet store who became severely ill or know someone who did and nearly half (45 percent) report that the sick puppy died.

“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 Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “We applaud Edie Falco and all those who use their platform to help create meaningful change for animals, and we thank Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal for their leadership on this bill that will help stop unscrupulous breeders from engaging in – and profiting from – unconscionable brutality.”

Last week, the New York State Senate passed the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill by a vote of 57-6. With passage in the Senate, the bill must now be approved by the Assembly, where it is currently before the Assembly Codes Committee for consideration. If the bill is approved in that house and signed by the Governor, New York will join other states and hundreds of localities nationwide in taking a strong stand against puppy mill cruelty.

For more information about the ASPCA, or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org