The New York State Legislature passed a bill on Friday that, when signed into law, will ban pet stores in the state from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits.
The Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill aims to "stop the flow of cruelly bred puppies into New York," according to a press release from the ASPCA. The legislation is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Kathy Hochul.
"Once signed into law, the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill will finally end the sale of cruelly bred puppy mill dogs in pet shops across New York state, which has one of the country's highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppies," Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO, said in a statement. "Shutting down the puppy mill pipeline will help stop retail sellers and commercial breeders from engaging in — and profiting from — unconscionable brutality."
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Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris championed the bill, which animal welfare groups supported, including the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF), Voters For Animal Rights (VFAR), Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and the NYC Bar Association's Animal Law Committee.
"Puppy mills breed cruelty. Banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in New York pet stores will deal the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline a near-mortal blow," Rosenthal said in a statement. "The cute puppies, kittens, and bunnies in pet store windows mask a sad reality: these animals are products of horrific neglect in puppy mills."
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She continued, "Puppy, kitty, and bunny mills use and abuse animals to churn out pets for sale, which are often riddled with congenital diseases that cost unsuspecting consumers hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary bills and incalculable emotional stress."
Rosenthal said the legislation would "finally shut down the pet store-to-puppy mill pipeline once and for all."
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Gianaris added that the bill would help prevent the abuse of animals.
"With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for abusive puppy mills to supply pet stores. Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities," he said in a statement.
Nearly half of the puppies sold in New York pet stores arrive from Missouri, which has the highest concentration of puppy mills in America, according to the ASPCA.
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In an open letter, celebrities including Edie Falco, Andy Cohen, Alec Baldwin, Justin Theroux, and Kristin Chenoweth showed their support for the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill.
"You have the opportunity to break this cycle of cruelty by shutting down the puppy mill pipeline to make it harder for commercial breeders to profit from cruelty," they shared prior to the bill passing.