Progress in Our Home Town: New York City Takes on Puppy Mills

December 1, 2014

In January 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed milestone legislation to allow local governments to regulate pet dealers for the first time in almost 15 years. We are thrilled to announce that the New York City Council has risen to the occasion and is currently considering three pieces of ASPCA-supported legislation that would lay down new rules for city stores that sell puppies and kittens.

While there are very few puppy mills within the five boroughs, there are over 70 stores that sell puppies and kittens, and they obtain their “stock” from breeders all over the country. While the Council can’t regulate breeders outside of the city, it can make sure that New York City pet stores don’t support the cruel treatment of these pups or their parents, who never get out of the puppy mills.

The three proposals currently under consideration:

  • Intro. 55-A would help ensure that NYC pet shops do not sell dogs and cats from breeders who fail to meet even the most basic care standards—those with certain violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act on their records—and would prohibit stores from doing business with Class B dealers, animal brokers notorious for obtaining animals from disreputable, difficult-to-trace sources. Intro 55-A would also require NYC pet shops to disclose critical information to customers about the origins of the dogs and cats they sell.
  • Intros. 136-A and 146-A would require that any dogs and cats sold at city pet shops are spayed/neutered and microchipped and all dogs are licensed prior to sale. Spaying and neutering animals sold in pet shops is critical to reducing pet homelessness; microchipping is essential to reuniting lost pets with owners; and licensing not only helps ensure the safety of pets and the public, but also generates much-needed revenue for the New York City’s shelter system.

If passed, these measures would take effect on June 1, 2015.