Pet stores will be barred from selling dogs, cats and other animals supplied by breeders under a new law signed Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
But the law, impacting neighborhood pet stores, does not take effect for two years — on Dec. 15, 2024.
The law — sponsored by state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) — is aimed at cracking down on so-called notorious “puppy mill” breeders that mistreat animals which are sold to stores for resale.
State lawmakers approved the puppy mill ban by huge bipartisan margins last spring despite efforts by pet stores and their political allies to bury the proposal.
Pet store owners argued the ban would put them out of business, though they will now be able to charge animal rescue shelters rent to use their space for adoptions.
“Dogs, cats and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment,” Hochul said.
“I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state.”
Gianaris, who first introduced the bill in 2018, said, “Today is a great day for our four-legged friends and a big step forward in our fight against abusive and inhumane puppy mills.
“My thanks to Governor Hochul for standing up for the voiceless loving animals who are members of our families and deserve the respect we’ve shown them today.”
Rosenthal said, “New York State will no longer allow brutally inhumane puppy mills around the country to supply our pet stores and earn a profit off animal cruelty and unsuspecting consumers.”
“By ending the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, shelters and rescues will be able to partner with these stores to showcase adoptable animals and place them into forever homes..”
Pet store operators warned Hochul before she acted that the prohibition on accepting dogs and cats from breeders would force them to close.
“Eight-five percent of our business is puppies so you make it illegal for pet stores to sell pets, how are they going to stay in business?” Emilio Ortiz, manager of Citipups in Chelsea, previously told The Post.
David Boelkes, owner of the The Barking Boutique in Buffalo, said, “This bill would not shut down one single breeder. It would only make it harder for people to obtain a puppy through a transparent source.
“We offer the addresses. We also offer [dog kennel] tours. So if people want to go and see the kennel themselves, they can, but again, that’s why they come to us,” he added.
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.