NEW YORK—Today, the New York State Senate approved S.1130, to shut down the puppy mill pipeline and end the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores across the state. Sponsored by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, the bill is supported by leading animal welfare groups including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®, the Humane Society of the United States, New York State Animal Protection Federation, Voters For Animal Rights, Companion Animal Protection Society, Animal Legal Defense Fund and the NYC Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee.
A companion bill (A.4283) was introduced in the Assembly by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. The Assembly version of the bill was approved by the Assembly Agriculture Committee last year, and it’s currently awaiting a vote in the Assembly Codes Committee.
“With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for puppy mills that abuse animals to supply pet stores. Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities,” said Gianaris. “I thank my colleagues for joining me in passing this important legislation and look forward to working with Assemblymember Rosenthal to get this bill over the finish line.”
“We can seize this moment to save countless animals from suffering by cutting off the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline once and for all,” said Rosenthal, chair of the Social Services Committee. “Preventing the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores won’t just protect animals, it will also save customers the great heartache and expense that comes with falling in love with an animal that is destined by its breeding to become irreparably sick. My colleagues in the New York State Assembly have a long and proud record of standing up for defenseless animals. I, along with the hundreds of thousands of animal lovers in this State, are waiting to end the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline by passing bill A.4283.”
“Having one of the country’s highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppies, New York State needs to end the sale of cruelly bred puppy mill dogs in pet shops by finally passing the New York Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA resident and CEO. “Shutting down the puppy mill pipeline will help stop retail sellers and commercial breeders alike from engaging in—and profiting from—unconscionable brutality. We are thrilled to see the Senate pass this bill, and we look forward to working with Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal to advance the bill through the full Legislature to make it law, signaling New York’s determination to reject animal cruelty statewide.”
“New York’s remaining pet stores are joined at the hip with puppy mills. This long-overdue legislation seeks to protect our state’s consumers and companion animals from the scourge of puppy mill cruelty,” said Brian Shapiro, New York state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We applaud Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal for championing this game-changing bill and for their tireless work aimed at shutting down the horrible puppy mill-to-New York pipeline.”
“If consumers knew where the puppies, kittens and rabbits sold at pet stores came from they would be appalled. The conditions and treatment these animals endure is inexcusable,” said Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. “This bill stops pet stores and unwitting consumers from bolstering an inhumane industry. We are so thankful for the leadership of Senator Michael Gianaris, the bill’s sponsor, and Senator Michelle Hinchey, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee for their steadfast leadership. The Federation represents shelters across New York that are happy to hold adoption events at local pet stores to help them rebrand as humane businesses that care about companion animals and the people who love them. Senate passage will help us build the momentum we need to pass this bill in the Assembly where thanks go to bill sponsor Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo for getting the bill out of committee and to its next stop in the legislative process.”
"During the pandemic, the puppy mill industry has demonstrated their unscrupulous and greedy practices by preying on the emotions of consumers during this very challenging time. While animal shelters worked in partnership with local communities to find homes for thousands of homeless animals, the puppy mill industry ramped up breeding and sales operations to sell as many dogs and kittens as possible for the highest prices possible. They have proven, once again, that they have no interest in protecting animals or consumers,” said Allie Feldman Taylor, president of Voters For Animal Rights. “Voters For Animal Rights applauds Senator Michael Gianaris for championing this transformative legislation—a win for all New Yorkers, especially consumers and homeless animals seeking a second chance at life.”
“Companion Animal Protection Society has conducted over 100 undercover investigations of every New York pet store and many of the puppy and kitten mills that sell to them since we started in 2013,” said Deborah Howard, president of Companion Animal Protection Society. “Our findings demonstrate the critical need for a law that shuts down the puppy mill pipeline into NYS ending the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits.”
“Shutting down the puppy mill to pet store pipeline cuts off a critical revenue source for puppy mill operators,” says Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We are grateful to Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal for championing a bill that will protect companion animals and New Yorkers.”
“New York has a long and proud tradition of protecting animals through its laws. This bill is no exception. It targets the cruel commercial breeding of dogs, cats, and rabbits, promotes animal adoption, and protects consumers and the environment,” said Christopher Wlach, chair for the New York City Bar Association Animal Law Committee. “The New York City Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee applauds the Senate for moving the bill one step closer to passage.”
Right now, out-of-state puppy mills ship their puppies to New York pet stores, where they are marketed as healthy puppies from responsible breeders, which is far from the truth. Puppies sold in pet stores typically come from commercial breeding operations known as “puppy mills” that are designed to prioritize profit over the well-being of the animals. Dogs in these facilities are often kept in wire crates without adequate shelter, veterinary care, food or socialization. As a result, many of them suffer severe health and behavioral issues—and families are often unprepared for the financial loss and heartbreak that come with buying a sick puppy.
A new report detailing where pet stores in New York really get their puppies shows that almost half of the puppies shipped to New York pet stores arrive by truck from Missouri—home to the highest concentration of puppy mills in the U.S. This cruel and broken system is made possible because, in New York State, it’s still legal to sell cruelly bred dogs in pet stores. The Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill will strike a major blow to the cruel and deceptive puppy mill industry by ending the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York pet stores.
With passage in the Senate, the bill must now be approved by the Assembly. If the bill is approved in that house, New York will join other states and hundreds of localities in taking a strong stand against puppy mill cruelty.