Pet store worker uses TikTok to fight stigma

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A bill is passing through the New York State Legislature that would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.

The intent of this bill is to crack down on high volume breeding facilities known as puppy mills. But many pet stores say this bill would bankrupt them.

In an effort to raise awareness, Emilio Ortiz, who works at the CitiPups pet store, created a TikTok account that is starting to gain popularity.

Pup_daddy, as it’s called on TikTok, made videos to show a day in the life of a pet shop employee. He said the goal was to remove some of the stigma surrounding buying a pet directly from a store, rather than from a breeder or shelter.

“Same thing when looking for apartments, sometimes it becomes difficult. It’s like okay, let me call a realtor, ”Ortiz said. “Now let me have a look, let me walk over to CitiPups, let me talk to the guys over there, let’s see if they can point me in the right direction, that’s what I’m looking for, how do I find it?” So that’s how I see it.

Pet stores in New York are already regulated, and in 2019, a law was enacted requiring pet stores to clean all cages daily and disinfect them every two weeks.

Mike Bober, chairman of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, said small pet store owners build their businesses around building relationships with customers.

Once they sell someone a pet, that customer is likely to come back to buy food and other supplies, as these small stores find it more difficult to compete with boxing stores in concerns prices.

“What it does instead is it actually creates a situation where people are being kicked out of the most regulated and transparent source for pets,” Bober said of this. pet store bill. “And instead, they’re headed to Craigslist, black markets and small unregulated sources where, unlike New York pet stores, warranty and consumer protection laws just don’t exist.”

However, a secret investigation by the Humane Society of the United States last year found that many New York pet stores were sourcing puppies from unscrupulous breeders.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, rejected the idea that there are responsible pet stores.

“Even though there are pet store owners who try to do the right thing, the way the industry works is when they get mass produced animals from breeders, often outside of state, they tend to come from factories, ”Sen said. said Gianaris. “There isn’t a pet score that’s unaffected by this.”

The bill has already been passed by the Senate and left the Assembly committee.

“We can seize this moment to save countless animals from suffering by cutting the pipeline from the puppy mill to the pet store once and for all,” said Linda Rosenthal, Assembly Member, sponsor of the project. law. “Preventing the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores will not only protect animals, it will also save customers the great grief and expense that comes with falling in love with an animal that, through its breeding, is doomed to become irreparably ill.

California, Washington and Maryland already have similar laws in place.


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