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New York Legislation Would Classify More Residents as 'Pet Dealers'

(Friday, March 06, 2009)

New York Assembly Bill 5507, sponsored by Assemblyman Greg Ball, seeks to classify more residents as "pet dealers"; seeks to impose ambiguous rules on all animal facilities, including homes of responsible breeders and shelters; and to define and regulate certain entities as commercial kennels. The American Kennel Club is urging all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in New York to contact Assemblyman Ball and the members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, which currently has cognizance of the bill, and urge them to address concerns with the bill.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

The American Kennel Club commends Assemblyman Ball on his publicly-stated dedication to addressing issues regarding substandard breeding facilities. However, AB 5507, as currently worded, unreasonably attempts to regulate more responsible dog breeders in New York with ambiguous requirements, including:

  • Redefining "pet dealer" in New York to mean any person who, in the ordinary course of business, engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than five animals per year for profit to the public at wholesale or resale. Since the current pet dealer threshold is nine animals per year, this change would increase the number of people being classified as pet dealers in New York, which will impose numerous costly requirements on many dog breeders currently not classified as a pet dealer.
  • Changing law that currently exempts breeders who sell fewer than 25 animals per year from their residential premises directly to consumers from being classified as pet dealers. AB 5507 will lower that exemption threshold to breeders/fanciers who sell fewer than 10 animals per year.
  • Defining "animal facility" to mean any area built, installed, or designed to serve as a breeding or maintaining area for animals. "Such facility shall provide an area where a person may engage in the sale or offering for sale, giving away, or transfer of any number of animals". This expansive definition applies to virtually any location, including private residences and shelters; and would impose excessive costs and requirements on dog owners.
  • Providing, under a new section entitled "Prohibited Sale of Animals", that "it shall be prohibited to purchase or accept an animal from any animal facility by a consumer, co-breeder, retail pet store, research operation or broker accepting dogs or cats for use by themselves or for transfer to a third party" if the "animal facility" did not meet these undefined requirements.
  • Empowering the Department of Agriculture to seize animals from any animal facility maintained by a pet dealer for civil violations, not criminal charges. The bill does not provide for security or redemption of such animals.
  • Implementing new law regarding the classification and regulation of "commercial kennels", and provides for inspections in violations.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All concerned New Yorkers are encouraged to contact the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Ball, and the members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Respectfully urge them to oppose AB 5507 as currently written, and ask them to make changes that would be fair to all responsible purebred dog breeders and rescue and shelter facilities.

Bill Sponsor:
Assemblyman Greg Ball
LOB 543
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5783
BallG@assembly.state.ny.us

Assembly Agriculture Committee:
Chairman William Magee
LOB 828
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4807
MageeW@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Marc S. Alessi
LOB 419
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5294
AlessiM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman George Amedore
LOB 426
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5197
AmedoreG@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto
LOB 919
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5296
BenedeM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler
LOB 318
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5393
ButlerM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch
LOB 450
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5741
CrouchC@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte
LOB 553
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5284
DelMonF@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito
LOB 621
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5454
DestitR@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch
LOB 320
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5878
FinchG@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Tim Gordon
LOB 529
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5777
GordonT@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther
LOB 435
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5355
GuntheA@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley
Room 531 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5811
HawleyS@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton
LOB 555
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5444
LiftonB@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Peter D. Lopez
LOB 429
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5363
LopezP@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Alan Maisel
528 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5211
MaiselA@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey
LOB 654
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4755
MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman John J. McEneny
LOB 648
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4178
McEnenJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Bob Reilly
LOB 452
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5931
ReillyR@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera
LOB 826
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5102
RiveraP@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal
821 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5802
RosentL@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell
LOB 602
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5545
RussellA@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Frank K. Skartados
LOB 545
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5762
SkartadosF@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman Al Stirpe
Room 430
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4505
StirpeA@assembly.state.ny.us

RESOURCES:
For a copy of the bill, click here.
For tips on how to effectively communicate with legislators, please click here.
For a copy of our Disagree Diplomatically brochure, please click here.
For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

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