Brady Hunter Foundation

New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to put a stop to puppy mills selling animals to pet shops will go into effect at the end of 2024.

Previously, Hochul had approved the legislation in December of 2022 under S.1130/A.4283, which bans all sales of cats, dogs and rabbits sourced by breeders for resale in pet stores. The original bill was introduced back in 2018 at the behest of Senator Michael Gianaris.


The bill also promoted a direct working relationship between pet stores and adoption shelters, allowing pet stores to charge a rental space to put up adoptions in the hopes of helping more pets find good homes. Meanwhile, the legislation reins in abusive breeders who prey on customers by selling animals with a host of breeding-related health issues, poor social training, and improper vet care.


Puppy mills and other illicit animal breeding facilities have long been a problem in the United States. Animals are kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without proper care and human interaction, so that breeders can prioritize profit. Many of these facilities sell hundreds of thousands of animals per year to retail pet stores, while ignoring issues such as the proliferation of genetic disorders inherent in breeding circles.


The push to skip breeders in favor of local adoption agencies has long been a focus for animal advocacy groups, but it has had to contend with a large percentage of people who want specific breeds that are more easily obtainable from a breeder. Most think that breeders are a premier source to acquire a pet, while in reality, only a small percentage are worthy of the title.


Governor Hochul’s bill aims to change public perception around the state regarding where people are getting their pets from, and the risks involved with puppy mills and similar facilities. It would also force pet dealers to sell pets at a price similar to that of animal shelter adoption fees, in order to cut down on price gouging. Meanwhile, pet stores who violate the new legislation could face a suspended or revoked license.


New York is following a similar law enacted in California in 2017, which required retail pet shops to bypass breeders in favor of selling rescues from animal shelters. The current New York bill seems intent on changing buyer habits, but the true results won’t be seen until 2025, shortly after the law has gone into effect. For now, animal lovers can rejoice over the fact that exploitative breeders will have one less state to ply their trade, and we here at the Brady Hunter Foundation are happy to celebrate this victory.


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