New York Could be the Next State to Crack Down on Puppy and Kitten Mills

As more people learn about the horrors of puppy mills, and how pet stores are supporting them, we’ve continued to celebrate victories across the country. Now, New York may be the next state to act to address the problem.

Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal have just introduced legislation (S.4234/A.6298) that would ban pet store sales of puppies, kittens and rabbits throughout the state, and instead require them to offer adoptable animals from rescues and shelters.

While many continue to defend pet store sales of puppies, claiming that they sell only animals who come from breeders licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the standards that have to be met for licensing are the bare minimum, enforcement is lacking, and penalties for violations aren’t strong enough.

Tragically for the animals involved, multiple investigations, inspections and busts have continued to expose the problems inherent in these types of large-scale operations, otherwise known as puppy and kitten mills, including overcrowding, inadequate shelter, unsanitary conditions and a lack of food, water, veterinary care and socialization, among other issues.

“These badly-regulated commercial dog breeders have only one goal: breed the highest volume of puppies possible at the lowest cost for the retailer. In turn, pet stores do everything in their power to sell these dogs, conveniently excluding well-documented health and behavior risks in their pitch to buyers who believe they are going home with a healthy, well-bred puppy. We are grateful that Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Rosenthal are moving the needle forward with this bill to protect pets and consumers,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA.

Thankfully, a growing awareness about the link between pet stores and puppy mills is bringing positive changes across the country. Dozens of cities have acted to ban pet store sales of companion animals, while California and Maryland have passed statewide bans.

As supporters noted in a statement, New York has one of the highest concentrations of pet stores in the nation, which means this legislation would close a huge market for animals being churned out by mills. Not only would it help save the lives of companion animals in need of homes and reduce the demand for more from breeders, it will help protect consumers, and relieve taxpayers who are ultimately paying for shelters to house and kill animals.

“Unsuspecting customers pay hundreds of dollars for a cute puppy or kitten, only to find that the animal is incurably sick. By ensuring that pet stores can offer only rescues for adoption, this legislation will protect consumers, help to shut down the mills and end the puppy to-pet store pipeline. Our animal shelters and rescue organizations are overflowing with animals needing forever homes; it’s time we start connecting rescue animals with loving homes through adoption in pet stores,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal.


You can help by signing and sharing the petition urging lawmakers in New York to make their state next to crack down on puppy mill cruelty by passing this critical piece of legislation.

Photo credit: Getty Images


Michael Friedmann
Michael F7 days ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Diane E
Diane E8 days ago

Signed. The puppies and kittens from these horrendous places have had a terrible time and their mothers are worn out from continual breeding. Go to the re-homing centre and give a chance to a stray.

Lesa D
Lesa D8 days ago

#17037 petition signed...

Lesa D
Lesa D8 days ago

thank you Alicia...

Andrea B
Andrea B9 days ago

Signed. Thanks

Terri S
Terri S9 days ago

It's great that states are cracking down on these "mills", just wish it was happening a lot faster!!!

Janet B
Janet B9 days ago


Coo R
Coo R9 days ago

anything to speed it up.

Donna T
Donna T9 days ago

oh, please, take your time!

Gino C
Gino C9 days ago