For Lynne Meloccaro, the push to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores is not just about protecting animals.
It is also about protecting people who might bring home a sick animal without their knowledge.
“People understand that places that supply pets to these stores often leave these animals in horrible conditions,” said Meloccaro, executive director of the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “It’s because of genetics, where they can raise a sibling.”
New York may soon ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.
The state legislature’s agriculture committees passed the measure this week, leading it to gain full approval from the chambers after years of deadlock at the state capitol.
Meloccaro has expressed full support for the ban, noting the various ways so-called puppy mills can create unhealthy conditions for animals.
“The only way to stop this is to stop it at the point of sale,” she said.
This ban would impact stores such as Pet Zone, a chain of Hudson Valley pet supply stores that has a location in the Poughkeepsie Galleria.
The management of the Pet Zone did not return the messages left by the Journal.
However, a sign attached to the window where customers can view the store’s dogs read: “The Pet Zone does not support illegal kennels or those with a history of non-compliance with standards and inspections. USDA. Our goal is to provide happy and healthy puppies to managers. Parents of animals. “
Animal rights groups have long advocated for the law, saying dogs, cats and rabbits sold in retail stores can be abused and are loosely regulated by the federal government.
The offspring of factory animals often have congenital problems resulting from poor reproduction, which can cost families thousands of dollars in veterinary care, the bill’s sponsors have said.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets, which oversees pet dealers, estimates that there are around 80 registered pet stores in New York City.
Meloccaro said selling animals with poor health will often lead to owners of expensive vet bills.
“A lot of these animals end up here (in our shelter) once their owners realize that something is wrong with their animal,” she said. “There are so many shelter animals that are much healthier than what you would find in a place that sells pet supplies.”
The bill has dragged on in Albany for years, even though lawmakers have taken various steps to crack down on animal abuse. Democrats control the state legislature.
In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a bill requiring pet stores to have separate spaces for pregnant animals and require all cages to be cleaned daily and disinfected at least once every two weeks.
They must also provide annual veterinary examinations if they sell at least 25 cats or dogs per year.
Also in 2019, New York City became the first state in the country to ban declawing cats, which animal rights groups also consider inhuman.
A year earlier, the legislature had banned rental plans for the purchase of expensive pets.
Geoffrey Wilson: [email protected]; 845-437-4882; Twitter: @GeoffWilson_