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Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5), the Suffolk County Legislature is considering an ordinance to further regulate pet stores and anyone who meets the state definition of “Pet Dealer”, defined as someone who sells over 9 dogs a year or over 25 if they are bred and raised on the person’s property.

Those who wish to comment on Resolution 1538 are encouraged to contact the Legislature prior to tomorrow’s hearing, or attend the hearing and testify during the public hearing.

Summary:

According to the resolution’s legislative intent, the purpose is to require pet dealers and pet stores to provide further disclosure on sales.  This includes posting prices in advance, notifying the county when the business location changes, and “to require pet dealers to obtain proper documentation for the animals they obtain and sell”.

In this proposal, the regulations apply to both pet stores and pet dealers, and there are some concerns the AKC is asking the Suffolk County legislature to consider:

1) Pet Stores and Pet Dealers are different entities.  However, in several instances, the resolution appears to use the terms “pet dealer” and “pet store” interchangeably.  Doing so may not always be accurate, as not all pet dealers sell or source to pet stores, or have retail space.  And depending on the breed, it is possible for someone to breed, for example, two litters in their home and reach the 25 dog threshold.

2)  Some of these requirements could have a negative impact on home-based breeders who may reach the threshold in the definition.  For example, under the proposal, pet dealers would not be permitted to source from anyone who even voluntarily gave up their USDA license.  Under current federal regulations, someone is required to be licensed by USDA if they have four intact dogs and sell one “sight unseen”.  It is very possible that someone could meet these criteria once, be licensed to be in compliance, and then no longer breed/sell at that threshold but remain a hobbyist.

In addition, this proposal would prohibit pet dealers from obtaining a dog from a hobby breeder.  Also, for example, if a personal situation arises, a pet dealer could not give any dogs to a friend or family member to take care of them, as the proposal would prohibit pet dealers from giving away any animals.

AKC agrees with current state and local laws regarding the treatment of dogs and consumer protection.  Our concern is that since not all pet dealers have retail space, and could in some cases be home-based breeders, there may be situations where certain provisions of the bill could be difficult to comply with, difficult to enforce, and have unintended consequences.

What You Can Do:

The AKC greatly appreciates that the sponsor, Legislator Monica Martinez, has been very willing and receptive to communicating with the AKC and allowing us to express our concerns.  She has also expressed her desire to not negatively impact hobby breeders and exhibitors.  AKC is asking that Resolution 1538 be further amended prior to passage to avoid any unintended, negative consequences for those home-based breeders who may meet the definition of “pet dealer”. 

Attend the Suffolk County Legislative Meeting and express any comments and concerns you have with this proposal:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
9:30 am
Maxine S. Postal Auditorium
Evans K. Griffing Building
300 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901

Contact the Suffolk County Legislature.  Thank Legislator Martinez for her willingness to dialogue on this issue and ask them to further amend the bill prior to passage to avoid unattended consequences for those who may meet the definition of “pet dealer”:

Al Krupski, District 1
al.krupski@suffolkcountyny.gov

Bridget Fleming, District 2
bridget.fleming@suffolkcountyny.gov

Rudy A. Sunderman, District 3
Rudy.Sunderman@suffolkcountyny.gov

Tom Muratore, District 4
Tom.Muratore@suffolkcountyny.gov

Kara Hahn, District 5
Kara.Hahn@suffolkcountyny.gov

Sarah S. Anker, District 6
Sarah.Anker@suffolkcountyny.gov

Robert Calarco, District 7
Robert.Calarco@suffolkcountyny.gov

William J. Lindsay III, District 8
William.Lindsay@suffolkcountyny.gov

Monica Martinez, District 9
Monica.Martinez@suffolkcountyny.gov

Tom Climi, District 10
Tom.Cilmi@suffolkcountyny.gov

Steven J. Flotteron, District 11
Steven.Flotteron@suffolkcountyny.gov

Leslie Kennedy, District 12
Leslie.Kennedy@suffolkcountyny.gov

Robert Trotta, District 13
Robert.Trotta@suffolkcountyny.gov

Kevin J. McCaffrey, District 14
Kevin.McCaffrey@suffolkcountyny.gov

DuWayne Gregory, District 15
DuWayne.Gregory@suffolkcountyny.gov

Susan A. Berland, Esq., District 16
Susan.Berland@suffolkcountyny.gov

Tom Donnelly, District 17
Tom.Donnelly@suffolkcountyny.gov

William Spencer, District 18
William.Spencer@suffolkcountyny.gov

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

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