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Grisanti-sponsored bill aimed to protect dogs and cats from abusive treatment by pet dealers signed into law

by jmaloni

Press release

Mon, Aug 5th 2013 03:40 pm

Legislation protects animals by requiring administrative hearings for repeat offenders

State Sen. Mark Grisanti today announced Bill S.3955A has been signed into law. This legislation protects dogs and cats from abusive treatment by pet dealers in New York state. The law amends the agriculture and markets law related to administrative hearings and processes for pet dealers.

The bill, sponsored by Grisanti, passed the New York State Legislature earlier this year and was signed into law this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"What we have with this law is another form of legislation that aims at cracking down on people who handle animals irresponsibly by causing harm to these defenseless creatures," Grisanti said. "We want to regulate commercial breeders and pet stores, and be an advocate for dogs, cats and all other pets who are abused."

The new law protects dogs and cats from abusive treatment by pet dealers by requiring that administrative hearings be held to determine whether a pet dealer license should be suspended or revoked after a certain pattern of failed inspections has occurred.

The legislation mandates an administrative hearing be scheduled after three consecutive failed inspections or three failed inspections within a three-year time period. By requiring hearings, those who have a pattern of being out of compliance with the laws that apply to the care of animals will be subject to having their licenses suspended or revoked, thus preventing them from further mistreating animals.

"For more than a decade, laws regulating pet dealers in New York state have failed to adequately protect dogs in the state's pet stores and commercial breeding facilities," said Bill Ketzer, senior director of ASPCA government relations for the northeast region. "This measure will provide the Department of Agriculture and Markets with a stronger enforcement mechanism to hold frequent violators of the state's pet dealer law accountable for repeat offenses. We applaud Gov. Cuomo for signing this measure into law and thank Sen. Grisanti for his continued commitment to passing legislation that protects animals."

The law also permits for additional actions to be taken regarding a pet dealer's license prior to a licensee failing either three consecutive inspections or three inspections over three years, a provision to help quickly prevent the most egregious practices and animal abuse from continuing.

"Many of the pets that have been abused are later sold to unsuspecting consumers," Grisanti said. "It is not fair to those people and obviously it is extremely unfair to the animals. This type of abuse must be prevented, and this law will help better track repeat offenders to help punish them for this despicable behavior."

This law closely follows ongoing discussions and attention to pending legislation that Grisanti has sponsored that calls for cracking down on puppy mills. Bill S.3753, which is still awaiting the governor's signature to become a law, permits local governments to regulate puppy mills and pet stores.

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