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New York bans retail sale of dogs, cats; law targets puppy mills

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On the heels of a nearly two-year effort and a push from celebrities, the state of New York on Thursday banned the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.

The historic move came after Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill into law.

The new law, created in an effort to end the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline and stop abusive commercial breeders, takes effect in 2024.

The legislation will also allow New York pet stores that previously sold live dogs, cats and rabbits to charge animal shelters rent to use their space for adoptions.

“Dogs, cats and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment,” Hochul said in a statement. “I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state.”

Pet store owners have one year to comply with the new law after signing, with violators facing fines up to $1,000 per violation.

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Harley, a young dog available for adoption at the SPCA of Tompkins County. June 21, 2019.

Hochul’s actions drew praise from the bill’s sponsors as well as celebrities and animal welfare groups nationwide.

“It is an amazing end-of-the year gift to finally have the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill become law! New Yorkers will soon be able to adopt the cute puppies, kittens and bunnies they see in pet store windows without supporting the cruel puppy mill industry,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, who championed the bill, in a statement. “Some of the worst puppy mills around the country have long supplied New York’s pet stores with animals that were raised in inhumane conditions, churning out litter after litter to drive a profit.”

Shams DaBaron (left) meets with Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (right) at a bistro to discuss policies affecting New Yorkers who are experiencing homelessness.

“A longstanding goal for animal welfare groups across the state … the passage is a historic win for New York’s animals, consumers, and communities,” said Matt Bershadker, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals president and CEO said. “As a result, New York will go from having one of the country’s highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies to a place that refuses to be an accomplice in this cruel process.

Story Credit: usatoday.com

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