New York Senate bans sale of animals in pet stores

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On Tuesday, July 21, the New York State Senate voted in favor of a bill banning the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in all pet stores in New York.

Not only would the ban encourage people to adopt rescue animals, it would also discourage the existence of puppy, kitten and rabbit factories that supply many pet stores with animals. These high volume breeding facilities have a reputation for poor living conditions and even animal abuse, and organizations like the Humane Society have long fought against them.

“Pet stores that sell puppies may look lovely from the window, but rely on a recklessly inhuman system to make money, importing potentially sick animals from out-of-state puppy mills and by misleading them to consumers as healthy pets from responsible breeders, ”said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), in the press release from the Senate.

The bill would not completely ban the purchase of pets; potential owners could still buy them from individual breeders, where they could see the living conditions and make an informed decision as to whether the breeder deserves their business. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the 80 or so retail stores currently licensed to sell animals in New York City; according to Union of times, much of their income comes from commodities rather than from the animals themselves. Opponents say it would have a big impact on store revenues and also encourage more people to buy pets online, which is unregulated.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, who introduced the bill in February, is one of the most prominent animal welfare advocates in the Senate. He was also behind last year’s declawing cat law, the country’s first statewide ban. (Other states have followed New York’s lead.)

“With so many good animals in need of rescuing, there is no need for pet stores to sell animals that come primarily from abusive puppy and kitten factories,” Gianaris said in the press release from yesterday. “Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not as commodities.”

Before this new bill becomes law, both the State Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo must approve it, and it’s unclear when that might be.

In the meantime, here are 25 compelling reasons to adopt a rescue dog.

[h/t Times Union]


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