New Yorkers will soon have fewer options when it comes to finding their next furry friend under a new state law.
Legislation signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday, Dec. 15, bans the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail pet stores.
It will also allow pet stores to charge shelters rent to use their space for adoptions.
Hochul’s office said the goal is to end the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline, where animals often suffer poor veterinary care, malnutrition, and a lack of socialization at the hands of abusive breeders.
Their subsequent health issues often cost families thousands of dollars in veterinary care.
“Dogs, cats, and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment,” Hochul said in a statement.
“I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state.”
Under the new law, pet stores will still be allowed to host adoption services in partnership with animal shelters or rescue organizations.
“Today is a great day for our four-legged friends and a big step forward in our fight against abusive and inhumane puppy mills,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents the 12th Senate District in Queens and sponsored the legislation.
“My thanks to Gov. Hochul for standing up for the voiceless loving animals who are members of our families and deserve the respect we’ve shown them today.”
The law is set to take effect beginning in 2024.
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