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The New York City Council Committee on Health is scheduled to consider a measure that would prohibit anyone who meets the definition of “pet shop” (defined in this proposal as those who sell more than 25 dogs/year) from selling a dog that was not sterilized – even if the dog is eight weeks old. The only exemptions are for dogs that will not be kept in New York City.

Current law requires pet shops to sterilize dogs prior to sale, unless the consumer provides a letter from their veterinarian stating that the dog should be sterilized at a later time. This bill would remove that consumer protection and require all dogs sold by those who meet the definition of “pet shop” to be sterilized – regardless of the pet’s age or the health care wishes of the customer and their veterinarian. And with the broader definition of pet shop contained in the proposal, this could conceivably impact some hobbyists in the city and require them to only sell sterilized dogs.

The AKC opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws, as sterilization is matter appropriately left to an owner in consultation with their veterinarian. Additionally, implementation of this proposal would require many young puppies to undergo radical sterilization surgery as young as 8 weeks of age. Scientific studies increasingly demonstrate juvenile spay/neuter may have long-term harmful impacts on a dog’s health and wellbeing.

New York City residents are urged to contact Health Committee members and to ask them to protect the health and wellbeing of puppies in the city by opposing Introduction 136.

Talking Points for Introduction No. 136:

Click here to view a sample letter to personalize
Click here for a sample phone script
Read AKC’s Issue Analysis “Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective”
Read AKC’s Issue Analysis “The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders”
Read AKC’s Issue Brief “Mandatory Spay/Neuter”
View a statement by the American College of Theriogenologists regarding health concerns with juvenile spay/neuter.

Committee Hearing Information:
New York City Council Committee on Health
Monday, November 24, 2014
10:00 am
Committee Room, City Hall
City Hall Park (City Hall and 250 Broadway)
New York City, NY

New York City Committee on Health Contact Information:
Click on each name for district, City Hall, and e-mail contact information:

Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair (District 3, Manhattan)

Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo (District 17, Bronx)

Council Member Rosie Mendez (District 2, Manhattan)

Council Member Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Brooklyn)

Council Member Peter Koo (District 20, Queens)

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens)

Council Member Inez Barron (District 42, Brooklyn)

Council Member Robert Cornegy (District 36, Brooklyn)

Council Member Rafael Espinal (District 37, Brooklyn)

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this issue and provide more information as it becomes available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or

The New York City Council Committee on Health is scheduled…