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April 29, 2019

The newly-created New York Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, May 1, on four bills impacting dogs and dog owners.

On the agenda are four bills, including the following:

  • 3411 – This bill would require animal shelter animal reports to be submitted to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, who will post the reports on their website. The report must include the following:
    • Number of animal intakes, including but not limited to animals surrendered by owners, brought in by animal control (specified by jurisdiction), and strays taken in
    • Number of dispositions, including adoptions, animals released to their owners, and the number that were transferred to another facility (and the facilities must be specified). This must also include the number of deaths and the reasons for death.
    • The number of animals turned away from the shelter, and the reasons why

Legislation that restricts animal owners and breeders is commonly proposed due to misplaced concerns about shelter population or animal health issues.  AKC supports this bill, as it will provide factual data and greater clarity about issues so that real problems can be addressed and the most appropriate policies to benefit animals can be put in place.

  • 3828 – This bill makes clarifications to some of the care standards for animals kept by pet dealers. Pet dealers are defined in New York as those who sell more than 9 dogs in a year.  However, those who sell fewer than 25 that were bred and raised on their property are exempt.  These clarifications include:
    • Requiring regular light cycles (natural or artificial)
    • Allowing a pregnant or nursing dog her own space apart from the whelping box that provides her with enough room for freedom of movement, among other basic requirements.
    • Cleaning primary enclosures every day, sanitizing and disinfecting every two weeks, and ensuring the food receptacles are sanitary.
    • Requiring that when dogs are isolated for contagious diseases, those enclosures must meet the same housing requirements as for dogs not in isolation.
    • If the dealers sell more than 25 dogs per year that were raised on their premises, each intact dog or cat must have an annual veterinary examination on the dealer’s premises. State law already requires that pet dealers arrange for “regular visits to the pet dealer’s premises”.

AKC believes these are reasonable clarifications, and also appreciates that, unlike other bills introduced this year, this does not lower the threshold of who is considered a “pet dealer”.

Other bills on the agenda include S. 94 regarding animal fighting, and S. 4802, a bill requiring the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to identify and develop standards for therapy dogs.  AKC is reaching out to the sponsor to offer to be a resource in developing these standards.

The AKC appreciates that none of the bills of significant concern assigned to this committee that were highlighted in a previous alert are on this agenda.  We encourage club members and breeders to continue contacting the committees included in that alert to ask them to not allow those bills to advance.

To comment on any of the bills scheduled for a hearing this week in the Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee, use the following committee contact information:

Monica R. Martinez, Chair (Hauppauge)
District Office: (631) 360-3356
Albany Office: (518) 455-2950

Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (Howard Beach)
District Office: (718) 738-1111
Albany Office: (518) 455-2322

Phil Boyle (Bay Shore)
District Office: (631) 665-2311
Albany Office: (518) 455-3411

Pete Harckham (Carmel)
District Office: (845) 225-3025
Albany Office: (518) 455-2340

Jen Metzger (Middletown)
District Office: (845) 344-3311
Albany Office: (518) 455-2400

Zellnor Myrie (Brooklyn)
District Office: 718-284-4700
Albany Office: 518-455-2410

James Tedisco (Clifton Park)
District Office: 518-885-1829
Albany Office: 518-455-2181

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at