On June 9, the Albany County Legislature voted unanimously to enact tough new restrictions on pet stores and breeders in the county that sell puppies directly to consumers. Embracing model language crafted by the ASPCA, “Local Law C” establishes municipal regulation of pet sellers and puts in place standards that exceed existing state requirements. More importantly, the law makes Albany the first county in New York to effectively and comprehensively keep puppy mill puppies out of its local pet stores!
Beginning in 2015, Albany County consumers can be more confident that their community is not supporting the systemic cruelties that are all too common in the puppy mill industry. Local Law C prohibits pet sellers in Albany County from selling puppies unless those puppies come from breeders who far exceed notoriously weak USDA care standards, which allow breeding dogs to live their entire lives stacked on top of each other in tiny, wire-floored cages.
This approach ensures that the parents of puppies offered for sale in Albany County have not suffered lifetimes of close confinement and discomfort. They must have constant access to the outdoors, must be seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year, and will not swelter in the summer or freeze in the winter. Breeders failing to provide their dogs with these most basic forms of animal care must take their business elsewhere!
We are sincerely grateful to bill sponsors Bryan Clenahan and Gary Domalewicz, who worked diligently with ASPCA staff to establish the sound, attainable and enforceable mechanisms found in Local Law C. We thank the Albany County Legislature for their leadership and desire to better protect animals, public health, and consumers who invest so much, financially and emotionally, in their pets. We look forward to working with other communities in New York that would like to do the same.
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