A southern Brooklyn pol joined a slate of other elected officials — and actress Edie Falco — at an April 29 press conference at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center in Manhattan to announce legislation that would ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in New York pet shops.
Councilmember Justin Brannan joined state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Falco in pushing for a bill which would prohibit the sale of the puppy mill pooches, as well as cats and rabbits, across the state while continuing to offer the shops space for shelters and rescues up for adoption.
“The commercial puppy industry treats dogs like machines and keeps them captive in cruel conditions, just so they can keep churning out puppies,” Brannan said. “Meanwhile, our animal shelters are overcrowded with beautiful pets looking for a permanent home. And there is simply no love, loyalty or gratefulness as unconditional as that of a rescue pet.”
New York wouldn’t be the first to pass such a law.
“California and Maryland have already banned the sale of commercially bred cats and dogs in pet stores. It’s time for New York to catch up,” Brannan said. “This law would be one small step for man but one giant leap for our four-legged friends.”
“As a New Yorker and longtime animal lover, I’m pleased to speak out in support of this life-saving legislation,” Falco said during the conference.
Falco’s dog Sami has been family for eight years, the actress said, “but her first two years of life were spent living in a box, in the dark, without a name. She made puppies that were sold in pet stores and that was her life.”
And she’s not alone.
“There are many animals living in similarly horrific circumstances right now, suffering unimaginable horrors, while their puppies are shipped off and sold to pet stores across the country,” Falco explained.
According to the ASPCA, New York currently has one of the country’s highest number of dog retailers, with around 2,000 puppies for sale at any given time.
“Pet shops often source their puppies from out-of-state, low-welfare, commercial breeding facilities (a.k.a. puppy mills) then offer them up to unsuspecting customers as healthy, high-quality puppies from responsible breeders,” an “advocacy alert” on the group’s website reads. “This business model is deceptive to consumers, exploits animals and perpetuates puppy mill cruelty.”
“Time after time, the pet industry has demonstrated that it is not interested in ensuring the welfare of the dogs it churns out, nor is it interested in transparency or public accountability,” Brannan added.
“New York State has a chance to break that cycle of cruelty, and the time to act is now,” Falco said.