Actress Edie Falco Joins New York Lawmakers to Support Statewide Ban on the Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs in Pet Stores

April 29, 2019

Edie Falco holding a small dog at a podium

On Friday, New York State lawmakers Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and NYC Councilmember Justin Brannan joined renowned actress and lifelong New Yorker Edie Falco at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center to show support for legislation that would help put an end to puppy mill cruelty in New York.

The bill, A.6298/S.4234, would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores across the state of New York, while continuing to allow pet stores to offer space for shelters and rescues to showcase animals for adoption. 

“As a New Yorker and longtime animal lover, I’m pleased to speak out in support of this lifesaving legislation. My dog Sami has been a cherished member of my family for the last eight years, but her first two years of life were spent living in a box, in the dark, without a name. She made puppies that were sold in pet stores and that was her life,” said Falco. “There are many animals living in similarly horrific circumstances right now, suffering unimaginable horrors, while their puppies are shipped off and sold to pet stores across the country. New York State has a chance to break that cycle of cruelty, and the time to act is now.”

Edie Falco with a small dog

New York currently has one of the country’s highest number of dog retailers, with approximately 2,000 puppies for sale at any given time. Pet shops often source their puppies from out-of-state, low-welfare, commercial breeding facilities (a.k.a. puppy mills), then offer them up to unsuspecting customers as healthy, high-quality puppies from responsible breeders. This business model is deceptive to consumers, exploits animals and perpetuates puppy mill cruelty.

A small dog with its tongue sticking out

Representatives from the Humane Society of the United States (the HSUS) and New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) were in attendance at the morning’s event, as were Falco’s dog Sami and Instagram pet celebrity Ella Bean—both puppy mill survivors. 

California and Maryland have already paved the way by banning the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. If this bill passes, New York could become the third state to take this strong stand against puppy mill cruelty.

We are grateful to Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal for taking the lead on this bill to protect pets and consumers, and to Falco for her support of this important measure.

Live in New York State? We need your help! Your voice can make a huge difference in the outcome of the ban. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to contact your Assemblymember and Senator and ask them to support and pass this bill. 

Don’t live in New York?  Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be notified when important animal-related legislation is introduced in your area.