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Last night, the New York Senate passed a bill which will prohibit retail pet stores from selling any dogs or cats.  Instead, they would only be allowed to “showcase” animals available for adoption from a shelter, rescue, or adoption agency.

Senate Bill 4234 now goes to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.  Session could be wrapping up very soon and this bill could move quickly.  New York residents are strongly encouraged to contact the Assembly Agriculture Committee and your Assemblymember, today, and ask them to not allow this bill to advance.  Scroll down for committee contact information.    

Summary:

Current law requires that pet dealers (defined in part as anyone who sells more than 9 dogs a year that are not bred and raised on their property) must comply with extensive consumer protection laws.

Senate Bill 4234 specifically removes retail pet stores from the definition of “pet dealer”.  As such, they are removed from the requirements that protect the health and welfare of dogs and enable consumers to know the health and background of the animal prior to sale.  In addition, even though the bill allows animals to be “showcased” that are available for adoption, it is not immediately clear if background information or information on the shelter or rescue is required.

Talking Points:

  • Although this bill is being touted as the ultimate solution to ending the problem of bad breeders, fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. This bill will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders; however, it dramatically harms the option to choose a professionally raised, purpose-bred dog.
  • It harms responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or New York consumer protection laws.
  • It will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).
  • It will reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.  Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.

For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You

What You Can Do:

  • Contact you State Assemblyperson. Respectfully ask them to not support the retail pet store ban (Senate Bill 4234).  Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to find the contact information for your state lawmakers.
  • Contact the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Respectfully ask the members to not support Senate Bill 4234.  If you are a constituent, please mention that when contacting them.
  • Donna A. Lupardo, Chair (Binghamton)

Donna A. Lupardo, Chair (Binghamton)
District Office: 607-723-9047
Albany Office: 518-455-5431
Email: LupardoD@nyassembly.gov

Didi Barrett (Poughkeepsie)
District Office: 845-454-1703
Albany Office: 518-455-5177
barrettd@nyassembly.gov

Ken Blankenbush (Carthage)
District Office: 315-493-3909
Albany Office: 518-455-5797
Email: blankenbushk@nyassembly.gov

Marianne Buttenschon (Utica)
District Office: 315-732-1055
Albany Office: 518-455-5454
Email: buttenschonm@nyassembly.gov

Clifford W. Crouch (Binghamton)
District Office: 607-648-6080
Albany Office: 518-455-5741
Email: CrouchC@nyassembly.gov

Erik Dilan (Brooklyn)
District Office: 718-386-4576
Albany Office: 518-455-5821
Email: DilanE@nyassembly.gov

Harvey Epstein (Manhattan)
District Office: 212-979-9696
Albany Office:  518-455-5506
Email: epsteinh@nyassembly.gov

Gary D. Finch (Auburn)
District Office: 315-255-3045
Albany Office: 518-455-5878
Email: FinchG@nyassembly.gov

Michael J. Fitzpatrick (Smithton)
District Office: 631-724-2929
Albany Office: 518-455-5021
Email: FitzpatrickM@nyassembly.gov

Aileen M. Gunther (Monticello/Middletown)
Monticello District Office: 845-794-5807
Middletown District Office: 845-342-9304
Albany Office: 518-455-5355
Email: GuntheA@nyassembly.gov

Stephen Hawley (Albion)
District Office: 585-589-5780
Albany Office: 518-455-3791
Email: HawleyS@nyassembly.gov

Billy Jones (Plattsburgh)
District Office: 518-562-1986
Albany Office: 518-455-5943
Email: jonesb@nyassembly.gov

Barbara Lifton
District Office: 607-277-8030
Albany Office: 518-455-5444
Email: LiftonB@nyassembly.gov

Brian D. Miller (New Hartford, Wallkill)
New Hartford District Office: 315-736-3879
Wallkill District Office: 845-895-1080
Albany Office: 518-455-5334
Email: millerb@nyassembly.gov

Walter T. Mosley (Brooklyn)
District Office: 718-596-0100
Albany Office: 518-455-5325
Email: MosleyW@nyassembly.gov

Jose Rivera (Bronx)
District Office: 718-933-2204
Albany Office: 518-455-5414
Email: RiveraJ@nyassembly.gov

Linda Rosenthal (Manhattan)- Bill sponsor
District Office: 212-873-6368
Albany Office: 518-455-5802
Email: RosentL@nyassembly.gov

Angelo Santabarbara (Amsterdam and Schenectady)
Amsterdam District Office: 518-843-0227
Schenectady District Office: 518-382-2941
Albany Office: 518-455-5197
Email: SantabarbaraA@nyassembly.gov

Al Stirpe (North Syracuse)
District Office: 315-452-1115
Albany Office: 518-455-4505
Email: StirpeA@nyassembly.gov

Jaime R. Williams (Brooklyn)
District Office: 718-252-2124
Albany Office: 518-455-5211
Email: williamsja@nyassembly.gov

Carrie Woerner (Saratoga Springs)
District Office: 518-584-5493
Albany Office: 518-455-5404
Email: woernerc@nyassembly.gov

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org.

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