The New York legislature has adjourned for the year. Although the bill to prohibit the sale of purpose-bred pets at retail pet stores passed on the last day of session, there were also many victories this session for dog owners.
AKC Government Relations thanks the Associated Dog Clubs of New York State and the many club members, breeders, and exhibitors who took the time to contact their lawmakers during session on a number of bills that would have impacted dogs and the sport.
Retail Ban/Pet Choice Restrictions Pass Legislature:
On the last day of session, after one of the longest floor debates of the final weeks, the New York Assembly passed Assembly Bill 4283/Senate Bill 1125. This bill restricts pet stores to only sourcing pets from shelters and rescues, and removes the state’s consumer protection laws for those who choose to obtain a pet from a local pet store. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information on our many concerns with these bills.
The bills will likely be sent to the governor later this year, and AKC GR will provide more information on contacting the governor in the coming weeks.
Victories for Dog Owners:
Regulations on Shelters/Importation Approved – Senate Bill 6870/Assembly Bill 6246 provide many new regulations regarding the care of animals in New York shelters. The bills also outline new requirements for any dog or cat imported into the state for sale, resale, or adoption. Animals must be quarantined for at least 48 hours or until the animal is free of contagious disease as determined by a veterinarian. Dogs in the state for less than 14 days for exhibition are exempt, so long as they have a rabies vaccination and are under proper restraint by their handlers/owners. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information.
AKC supports these bills, which will protect public health and the health of dogs in the state. More information will be provided in the coming weeks on contacting the governor in support.
Debarking Ban Held in Assembly – Despite some last-minute procedural moves by the Senate, the Assembly did not consider S. 9445 or S. 1125, which would have banned the procedure known as “debarking” or bark softening. AKC opposed these bills, which restricted the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarian. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information.
Crop/Dock Ban Not Considered– Senate Bill 461, which would have banned ear cropping and tail docking, was introduced but never received a hearing. AKC GR met with key members and staff early in the session to explain our concerns. We thank the committee chair for not scheduling this bill for a hearing.
Hobby Breeder Regulations Not Considered – Several bills (including A. 4023, S. 4912/A.2601, and S.1360) would have revised the definition of “Pet dealer” to include hobbyists, or require licensing for all breeders. AKC met with key members in both the Assembly and Senate at the beginning of session to express our many concerns with the impact these bills would have on hobby breeders and exhibitors in the state. None of these bills were scheduled for a hearing.
Non-Economic Damages Bill Did Not Advance – In 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 6027, which would have allowed a person to receive damages for mental distress or emotional harm caused by the injury or death of a companion animal. Historically, compensation for non-economic damages is reserved only for humans. Changing this precedent could adversely impact the legal status of animals. AKC GR worked with numerous organizations and veterinarians in opposition to this bill, which was not brought up for consideration again during the 2022 session.
Bills Regulating Dogs Outdoors Not Considered – Numerous bills were introduced to regulate the keeping of dogs outdoors. AKC GR agrees that dogs should never be kept in conditions where their health and safety are at risk. However, as written, these bills used arbitrary guidelines that did not consider the needs, ability, training, or health of all breeds or individual dogs. AKC and the state federation have worked for several sessions on communicating with members the need for flexibility, rather than one-size-fits-all policies. We appreciated that none of these bills were brought up for hearings.
AKC Government Relations will provide more information in the coming weeks on contacting the governor in opposition to the retail ban and in support of the shelter and importation regulations. For questions or more information on New York’s legislative session, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.