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Puppy mill law introduced to state Senate

A move by Mamaroneck lawmakers to blockade against the sale of pets from so-called “puppy mills” has gained traction on the state level, after a new piece of legislation was proposed last week.

Much like a law passed by the village of Mamaroneck in 2016, the bill, introduced to state lawmakers by Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Democrat, on Feb. 15, would ban retail pet stores from buying their pets at for-profit breeders with the hope of curtailing the operation of “puppy mills,” mass breeders with a reputation of over-breeding and treating pets inhumanely.

“With thousands of good animals in need of homes, there is no need for notorious puppy mills to supply pet stores,” said Gianaris in a released statement. “Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities.”

When the village of Mamaroneck’s local law passed in 2016, it became the first local municipality in all of New York state to prohibit the sale of for-profit pets through what was dubbed by local activists as a “puppy mill law.” The ban was in response to a now-shuttered local business called Best Breeds, owned by Richard Doyle, who has since been barred from selling animals in New York state after falsifying records and mistreating animals at his store.

Since then, the village of Port Chester has also passed its own puppy mill law, and an initiative on the county level to ban the sale of pets from puppy mills was introduced in 2016, but wasn’t brought to a vote. California became the first state in the country to enact such a ban on a statewide level in October 2017.

Under the proposed state law, pet stores would only be allowed to acquire their pets from rescue shelters and humane societies but would be allowed to retain a portion of the adoption fees usually charged by a shelter during an adoption process.

Currently, the state bill has no sponsor in the Democratic-majority Assembly and will still have to make its way through a Republican-controlled Senate.



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