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The Hempstead Town Board is continuing to debate a proposal that would regulate breeders, pet sellers, and mandate the sterilization of dogs prior to sale- even if they are only 8 weeks old.    

Residents of the Town of Hempstead are encouraged to contact the Hempstead Town Board as soon as possible and respectfully ask them to not pass any regulations that would negatively impact breeders, sellers and retailers who are raising and treating dogs in a humane manner.  Also respectfully encourage them to give time to determine the effectiveness of county laws on this issue before passing more regulations.  Scroll down for contact information.

Summary:

The AKC agrees with the Town Board that no dog should ever be raised in an environment where basic needs are not met or the dog’s health or safety are compromised.  Our concerns with the proposal are the negative impact many provisions can have on dogs and responsible hobbyists, including:

  • Unclear definitions could define home-based breeders as pet stores.  The definitions of “pet dealer” and “pet store” do not differentiate between a small home-based breeder and a brick-and-mortar pet shop.  A “pet dealer” is one who sells more than 9 dogs a year (even if the dogs are raised on a private residence), and a “pet store” is a business owned by a pet dealer.  Depending on the breed, this could include those who breed and sell just one litter.

    As a result, the proposal would subject home-based hobby breeders to unannounced inspections of their homes even if they sell just one litter, and many of the requirements such as maintaining a certain amount of retail space are not compatible with a home environment.  The proposal would also require that pet stores be declared a place of public assembly, which is not reasonable when the pet store as defined in this proposal is someone’s private residence. 

 

  • Mandatory sterilization of all dogs prior to sale- regardless of their age.  The most recent draft of the proposal would require all “pet stores” (which, as mentioned above, could very likely including many hobby breeders) to sterilize all dogs prior to sale.  As many puppies are sold at 8 weeks, this is a very dangerous requirement that could lead to significant long-term health problems for the dog. 

    The proposal does provide for some exemptions, such as a dog demonstrated to have a breed ring show record, but this is impossible for a puppy that is 8 weeks of age that is too young to participate in AKC events. 
     

  • The definitions contradict New York state and Nassau County laws.  Current New York state law allows localities to regulate “pet dealers”, which the state defines as those who sell more than 9 dogs in a year. Current state law also exempts breeders who raise 25 or fewer on their property. 

    A law passed in 2014 in Nassau County to regulate “pet dealers” uses the state definition.  It is unclear why the Town of Hempstead is seeking to pass regulations separate from those of the county and state, especially as the county law can just now begin to be evaluated.  Also, the differing definitions between the county law and town proposal could create much confusion with enforcement, particularly if business is transacted within the county, not just in the town of Hempstead.

Hempstead residents are encouraged to contact the Town Board and ask them not to proceed with this proposal that is not in the best interest of dogs, will be virtually impossible to enforce, and would prove impossible for hobby breeders to maintain compliance.

Contact Information for Town Board:

Town Supervisor Kate Murray
(516) 489-6000
kmurray@tohmail.org

Council Member Anthony J. Santino
(516) 812-3200
asantino@tohmail.org

Council Member Dorothy L. Goosby
(516) 489-5000, ext. 4304
dgoosby@tohmail.org

Council Member Gary Hudes
(516) 812-3180
ghudes@tohmail.org

Council Member Edward A. Ambrosino
(516) 812-3179
eambrosino@tohmail.org

Council Member Bruce A. Blakeman
(516) 812-3523
bblakeman@tohmail.org

Council Member Erin King Sweeney
(516) 812-3285
ekingsweeney@tohmail.org

AKC Government Relations will provide additional information as it becomes available.  Contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org with any questions.

The Hempstead Town Board is continuing to debate a proposal that would regulate breeders, pet sellers, and mandate the sterilization of dogs prior to sale- even if they are only 8 weeks old.

Residents of the Town of Hempstead are encouraged to contact the Hempstead Town Board as soon as possible and respectfully ask them to not pass any regulations that would negatively impact breeders, sellers and retailers who are raising and treating dogs in a humane manner.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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