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Gianaris Announces Bill That Would Ban the Sale of Dogs and Cats From Pet Stores

Tropical Pet’s at 37-65 103rd St. in Corona would no longer be able to sell dogs and cats if new bill becomes law (Google)

Feb. 3, 2020 By Kristen Torres

State Sen. Mike Gianaris has introduced a bill that would ban retail pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits.

The bill, which passed the Domestic Animal Welfare Committee on Monday, aims to put an end to puppy mills, which Gianaris says are inhumane and cruel. Instead, he wants to encourage pet store owners to partner with animal shelters to find homes for rescue pets.

“With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for puppy mills that abuse animals to supply pet stores,” Gianaris said in a statement. “Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities.”

Most animals sold at pet stores come from commercial breeding facilities, which have frequently come under fire for substandard conditions. Gianaris says that many of the animals are from out-of-state puppy mills, where the regulations are very loose. He says that many animals are mistreated and sick.

Gianaris said the animals supplied to stores from these mills often suffer from congenital issues resulting from poor breeding practices.

“Many times these animals have health problems that are not known to the person who purchases the animal,” Gianaris said. “They have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in health care costs that they had no idea was going to be the case.”

The bill is being championed in the state Assembly by Linda B. Rosenthal, of Manhattan, who says the purpose of the bill is to cut the puppy mill pipeline.

But the bill does have its critics.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which represents pet store owners, says the bill is misguided, arguing that responsible pet store owners will suffer and that many purchasers seeking a specific type of breed will go directly to the bad breeders anyway.

“In reality, the bad breeders this legislation targets will go untouched while responsible pet store owners pay the price and will be forced to close their doors and lay off hardworking New Yorkers,” the group said in a statement. “Families who are seeking a specific breed of dog will be driven to unlicensed sources, and could fall victim to unscrupulous sellers.”

State Sen. Mike Gianaris announcing in Albany Monday that his puppy mill bill has been passed by the Domestic Animal Welfare Committee (Photo: Courtesy of State. Sen. Gianaris)

The bill sponsors, however, said they hope New Yorkers seeking pets would instead adopt them from animal shelters. The legislation would still allow people to buy dogs or cats directly from breeders.

Animal rights groups have voiced their support for the bill, and said that the legislation is the right course of action to stop cruel practices among breeders.

“Shutting down the puppy mill pipeline will make it much harder for unscrupulous breeders to profit from their unconscionable brutality,” said ASPCA President Matt Bershadker.

New York has one of the highest concentration of pet stores in the country, according to the Humane Society of the United States. If passed, New York will join Maryland, California and more than 290 localities across the nation that have laws banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.

The law would affect roughly 80 pet stores that are registered to sell domestic animals in the state.

There are 14 registered pet stores in Queens, including in neighborhoods such as Astoria, Corona, Sunnyside, Flushing, Forest Hills, College Point and Bayside.

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Pat Macnamara

Gianaris with nothing better to do than worry about what pet stores are doing. Meanwhile Steinway Street is a ghost town, crime is on the rise, homeless encampments abound, but nanny state government wants to shutter more businesses.

Pat Macnamaracist why am I not surprised you love animal cruelty

I’m not sure how “WHATABOUT THE HOMELESS” is relevant to this. Surely you can post that rant on another article?

Sara Ross

Every industry has people who follow the laws and break them. This law effects pet shop owners who aren’t selling animals from puppy mills and this law would put the law abiding people out of business. Why don’t politicians concentrate more on the assaults on innocent people on the street, on trains, everywhere the public should be safe but aren’t?


I think that this bill is too swiping in scope. I think that pet-stores can be ethical in the animals that they sell. I do agree that puppy mills should be outlawed but I feel strongly that as a consumer I should be able to go to a local store to buy a puppy from an ethical breeder. As to getting dogs from a rescue source: every dog in my neighborhood that has been a rescue has some sort of psychological disorder that ranges from excessive aggression towards other dogs/people, excessive barking or excessive shyness. I’m a dog owner. I will never take in a rescue dog. I will continue to buy any additional dogs that I may own from an ethical breeder. Lastly, I strongly feel that in order for a person to be eligible to own a dog that they have to verify that they have had training in dog care and ownership. ALL dogs must be licensed. The problem is not really dog breeding but people owning animals that they are truly unwilling or unable to properly take care of in a manner that promotes the dog’s wellbeing with the dog’s master being a good neighbor.

Dog Lover / Owner

Disagree with rescue dogs. They come from a variety of places, sometimes even puppies are sent to shelters. There are also many dog rescue places that take good care of their rescues like Muddy paws.


Henry you are out of touch (I am trying to get this post on so I am being kind). Rescues for the most part are loving pets, they seem to know the adopter has “rescued” them. Given a good forever home they make wonderful loving pets.

Eileen Bennett

I hope this happens. All the animals in shelters that need homes and people use puppy mills??
Here in California the pet stores bring in the shelter animals for adoption and this should happen in all the states.


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