Bill would hand over regulation responsibility to municipalities
State Sen. Mark Grisanti today renewed his call for a crack down on puppy mills by urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law bill S.3753, which would allow "forward-thinking" local governments to regulate commercial pet breeders and pet stores. The legislation addresses what Grisanti's camp calls the ineffectiveness of New York's "Pet Dealer" law, the proliferation of unregulated dog breeders in the state, and the pet industry's complicit support of inherently cruel, out-of-state puppy mills.
"New York state appears to be the only home-rule state in the country that explicitly prohibits its towns and cities from regulating commercial pet breeders and pet stores," Grisanti said. He was backed by area leaders in the fight against pet abuse. "I am calling on the governor to pass this piece of legislation so that New York can effectively regulate puppy mills, and put an end to abusive breeding techniques."
Grisanti went on to highlight the dangers of the absence of close regulation of dog-breeding.
"The current law allows for overcrowding and problems with ventilation, light, and even the dripping of waste from upper cages into the crates below," he explained. "Dogs are basically crammed inside filthy structures where they never even feel a gust of fresh air, while others spend their entire lives outdoors, permanently exposed to the elements."
"Sen. Grisanti recognized how the existing state law makes it easy for commercial breeders to elude regulation, and how New York pet stores often support poor-quality, out-of-state puppy mills through lax federal oversight," said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA government relations for the northeast region. "The costs associated with unregulated breeders and unscrupulous sellers are borne locally through animal cruelty seizures, sheltering costs and legal proceedings. With the passage of S.3753-A, our cities and towns can prevent these problems. The ASPCA thanks the senator for his diligence and support on this measure in 2013, and we urge Gov. Cuomo to sign it into law."
Barbara Carr, executive director of the Erie County SPCA, added, "The passage of the New York state bill, S.3753, permits our local governments to regulate puppy mills and pet stores. This bill will go a long, long way in protecting animals from abuse, and ultimately will protect consumers. The SPCA is extremely grateful to Sen. Grisanti for his leadership on this issue. We are lucky, indeed, to have him representing us, and in this case, representing the voiceless animals on this issue."
"Our town, city, and county governments will finally be able to legally end the retail sale of mill-bred pups from the hundreds of unscrupulous pet dealers across our state who are a fundamental component of the cycle of puppy mill cruelty, greed and consumer fraud," said Lorry Schlick, president of WNY Citizens Against Puppy Mills. "Upon the governor's signature, our communities across New York state may now work toward ending the covert and inherently cruel factory farming of puppies in mass commercial kennels commonly known as puppy mills."
Grisanti said he will send a letter to the governor's office to further urge the signing of this bill later this week.
"We need this bill put into law as soon as possible," he said. "Our pets cannot afford to wait any longer for this protection."