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The New York City Council Committee on Health is scheduled to consider several revised measures on Monday, November 24 that would impact pet stores and breeders who sell more than 25 dogs in New York City in a year.

Thanks to AKC’s communications with the council, and your calls and e-mails earlier this year, the committee has made major revisions to the proposals. The AKC is very appreciative of these changes, but remains especially concerned about a provision that requires that all puppies sold at pet stores (those who sell more than 25 dogs a year) be sterilized prior to sale. In many cases, this would mean that young puppies would be required to undergo this major surgery as young as 8 weeks.

New York City residents are encouraged to review the measures and consider attending Monday’s hearing or provide comments to the committee prior to the meeting.


The New York City Council Committee on Health is scheduled to consider four measures that would create new requirements for “pet stores.” Under the amended measures, a “pet store” refers to anyone who sells more than 25 dogs per year in the city. The bills scheduled for consideration include:

Amended Introduction No. 136All who meet the above definition of pet store would be required to sterilize the dogs prior to transfer to the new owner. This may be done any time after the dog is eight weeks of age. Pet stores are exempted only if they have a statement in writing that the animal will not be kept in the New York City.
Pet stores and rescues must also require the new owners to complete paperwork and pay for a New York City dog license. Sellers would be responsible for submitting the application and payment to the Department of Health. At least once a month, “pet shops” must provide a report to the Department that lists the animals sold, the name and address of the purchaser, and the license number if known.

The AKC opposes the mandatory sterilization provision of this bill that requires anyone who sells more than 25 dogs a year in NYC to spay/neuter all dogs prior to transfer. New scientific studies increasingly demonstrate that juvenile sterilization can have long-term harmful impacts on the health of a dog. Sterilization is matter appropriately left to an owner in consultation with their veterinarian.

Talking Points for Introduction No. 136:

Click here to view a sample letter to personalize
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.

Amended Introduction No. 55This measure would require all “pet shops” (those selling more than 25 dogs/year) to comply with basic standards of care and a variety of other requirements, including keeping records for ten years and providing a document signed by a veterinarian stating that either the animal has no congenital or hereditary defects, or that states that there were no known defects at the time of sale.

In addition, it allows for dogs belonging to “pet shops” to be seized if there are violations to the care standards, licensing, and other requirements in the bill. AKC is requesting an amendment to clarify that the store or breeder may have the opportunity to correct minor violations prior to dogs being seized.

The AKC greatly appreciates the significant changes made to this bill that would have negatively impacted hobbyists and fanciers.

Other measures scheduled for consideration include a bill that would require all animals sold by pet shops and rescues to be microchipped prior to sale (Amended Introduction No. 146), and a bill that would require “pet stores” to check the city’s animal abuse registry to ensure the potential customer is not a registered animal abuser (Amended Introduction No. 73). If the pet store is allowing shelters and rescues to sell animals at their facility, those animals are exempt. The AKC is asking for clarification as to why the source of the animal should matter when it comes to whether the animal should be sold to someone listed on the city’s animal abuse registry.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the Council hearing on November 24. Please thank the committee for the many amendments made to benefit hobbyists and fanciers. Respectfully ask them to oppose the mandatory spay/neuter provision in File 136 and provide any other comments you may have. If you wish to coordinate your testimony with the AKC GR Department, please call 919-816-3720.

    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

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 to consider several revised measures…