A new law signed Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offers more protections for animals sold through pet stores.
“If pet dealers are going to profit from the sale of living animals, they should at the very least adhere to basic standards of decency,” Cuomo said. “These new rules will create safer, more sanitary and more humane conditions for animals while they wait for a new permanent home.”
The law strengthens Section 401 of the state agriculture and markets law, which specifies conditions and facilities that pet dealers must provide for animals they have in their possession.
The health and safety standards have now been beefed up to set clear guidelines for sanitary living enclosures and food receptacles, annual veterinary examinations, regular grooming, diurnal light cycles, and separate spaces for pregnant dogs offering sufficient room to nurse and care for a litter.
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale sponsored the legislation in the House.
“New York state will ensure that pet dealers will be held to standards that will promote the safety, good health, and overall well-being of the animals in their care,” she said. “There have been too many instances when pet dealers have neglected to properly groom animals in their charge, and those animals have been found with overgrown nails, excessive matting of fur, and infestations of fleas and ticks. With this law, we will prevent this kind of negligent treatment.”
State Sen. Jen Metzger, whose district includes Sullivan County and parts of Orange, Ulster, and Delaware counties, and who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said, “The law also provides much-needed protection from the kind of abusive practices and negligent behavior that has occurred at unscrupulous puppy mills, which care only about profit with little regard for the animals’ welfare.”
As a result of the changes, the law now requires the minimum standards of care for all pets in the custody of pet dealers will be raised to require that primary enclosures must be cleaned daily and sanitized every two weeks. Isolation areas for sick animals must meet the housing requirements for healthy animals.