New York is the latest state in the United States to ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet stores.
The new law, which was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and takes effect in 2024, lets pet shops work with shelters to offer rescued or abandoned animals up for adoption.
The new legislation aims to crack down on controversial commercial breeding operations, also known as “puppy mills.” Dogs sold in pet stores are frequently sourced from puppy mills.
“This is a very big deal,” said Senator Michael Gianaris in a statement. “New York tends to be a big purchaser and profiteer of these mills, and we are trying to cut off the demand at a retail level.” He added that these businesses treat puppies “like commodities.”
The new law goes into effect in 2024, and it will affect every pet store. However, it will have no effect on private breeders.
New York is following in the footsteps of California, which passed similar legislation in 2017.
Puppy mills are being prosecuted
Puppy mills have long been a source of contention. They are breeding kennels where dogs are raised in filthy and cramped conditions.
According to PETA, these mills are mostly found in the Midwest, but they can be found throughout the United States. Some dealers also import puppies from other countries.
Puppies born in puppy mills are frequently unhealthy. They may also struggle to socialize as a result of their upbringing. As a result, many are abandoned by their “owners” soon after being purchased.
Pet stores are cruel
Many investigations have revealed that pet stores are frequently filled with cruelty. It has been demonstrated that exploiting animals for profit has a negative impact on their welfare.
A Humane Society investigation in 2019 at a Petland store in Virginia discovered that rabbits were dying and were not receiving medical care.
The two-month undercover investigation revealed that the store did not appear to have a policy requiring veterinary care for the rabbits. One employee reportedly said “we just let them die” when they get sick.
It was also discovered that the rabbits were obtained from an unlicensed rabbit mill. This mill housed approximately 200 animals in filthy and overcrowded conditions.