New York’s Pandemic Puppies and Shutting Down the Pipeline

July 9, 2020

two terrier puppies

While most of New York State was shut down this spring in an effort to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19, it was business as usual for the puppy industry. Even during the height of the pandemic, puppy mills were trucking puppies into the state almost daily, delivering them to pet stores that sold them for thousands of dollars.

But there is good news: We’ve just learned that the New York State Legislature is going to reconvene over the next two weeks to wrap up unfinished business—let’s make sure the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill is on their agenda so we can end this practice for good!

Our review of animal import data collected by the state’s Agriculture and Markets Department confirmed that close to 1,400 puppies were imported to pet stores during the month of April alone. Most came from Midwestern states and wound up mainly in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County—the areas most affected by COVID-19.

Pet stores that sell puppies rely on a cruel and broken system to do so, and although many communities across the country have rejected this business model, the sale of commercially bred dogs is still legal in New York stores. Our laws allow these retailers to take advantage of consumers, by representing sick puppies from faraway commercial facilities as healthy pets from responsible breeders.

The ASPCA has been fighting to shut down the puppy mill pipeline and stop commercial breeders from selling through New York pet stores—not just during this crisis, but for good. The opportunistic, profit-driven and exploitative practices of the puppy industry during the COVID-19 pandemic should be the final straw.

If you live in New York State, visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center now to urge your lawmakers to end the retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.