New state law would give local municipalities authority to regulate puppy mills
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Animal advocates say new state legislation is a major step toward protecting animals and their owners.
New York lawmakers have passed a law aimed at cracking down on puppy mills. The law would put the power in the hands of local municipalities, allowing cities and towns to draft and enforce local laws that regulate dog breeders and the stores that sell the pets.
Animal advocate Stefanie Higgins says many of the pet store puppies are from puppy mills.
“Those dogs usually have a host of health problems and this is going to help regulate that and also protect the consumer too, not just the animal but the consumer too,” said Higgins.
Regulations could range from making sure pet breeders are licensed - to putting age restrictions on when puppies are allowed to be sold.
Higgins says the law could also help cut back on what is commonly called backyard breeding – a growing problem in the city of Syracuse - in which the breeder turns around and sells the puppies immediately for cash.
Some local governments are concerned with how they will enforce the new laws, and whether it comes at a cost.
“It’s a problem sometimes when the state enacts these laws because they just throw it at us and say here you go and we're left holding the bag and are not sure what to do with it,” said Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra.
Animal advocates are hoping to work with municipalities to successfully create and implement new regulations.
The law has passed the Senate and the Assembly and is now waiting on the Governor’s signature.
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