Have you ever strolled past the bright, wide windows of a New York pet store and fell in love with a big-eyed pup? This experiment may be coming to an end and it’s all in the name of animal welfare.
This week, the bipartisan Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill passed the House, meaning it will pass Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk.
Introduced to the New York State Senate in 2021, this bill “prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits by retail pet stores; permits collaboration with entities to provide space to display cats or dogs belonging to certain entities for the purpose of adoption”.
In other words, the bill seeks to end the trade in small animals exclusively for profit and encourages the adoption of rescue animals in need of homes. Puppy mills are notoriously dangerous for animals, pet mills where dogs are often used for potentially dangerous and painful gestation and birth, and newborns are not given proper health care and precautions . Many pet stores claim they work with reputable breeders and not so-called puppy mills, but many have also been caught up in lies about puppy supply.
If the Puppy Mill pipeline bill becomes state law, New York pet stores would have to remove their furry friends from their inventory. They will still be able to present rescued dogs for adoption and placement, but will not be able to take advantage of fees associated with New Yorkers finding a pet at their location.
Designer dogs often cost thousands of dollars and their absence will most certainly hurt the revenue of independent pet stores across the state. States like California, Illinois and Maryland already have similar laws, enacted in recent years to curb the corporate and often irresponsible and dangerous breeding of designer dogs and cats.
“I don’t think we should sanction animal torture as a way to keep people in business,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. New York Times. “I hope it doesn’t take the governor as long as it took the entire legislature to figure out the right thing to do.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has an ongoing petition urging Governor Hochul to quickly sign the bill. Understandably, pet store owners are lobbying against signing the bill, and the governor has yet to make a statement on what he will decide.