NY Governor Signs "Puppy Mill Pipeline" Bill Into Law, Banning Stores From Selling Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Dec. 15 2022, Updated 1:42 p.m. ET

Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill in New York
Source: Getty Images

UPDATE, Dec. 15, 2022, at 1:37 p.m. ET: New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the puppy mill pipeline bill into law today. The law will take effect in 2024.

"Dogs, cats, and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment," Hochul stated. "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."

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PREVIOUSLY, as published Dec. 6, 2022: The puppy mill industry is one that many animal lovers would like to see end — and in New York, that just might happen soon.

Any day now, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to vote on the puppy mill pipeline bill, which would prohibit stores from selling dogs, as well as cats and rabbits.

With so many animals in need in shelters and rescue groups, there’s really no need for the pet breeding industry to exist, and this bill becoming law could make a huge difference for animals. Here’s everything you need to know, from the details of the bill to how you can urge Gov. Hochul to sign it into law.

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Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill
Source: iStock

The puppy mill pipeline bill has already passed in the Assembly and Senate.

NY State Senate Bill S1130 passed in the Senate, and its Assembly version, NY State Assembly Bill 4283 has passed in the Assembly.

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The bill, informally known as the puppy mill pipeline bill, proposes banning retail pet shops from selling cats, dogs, and rabbits. It would also allow these shops to connect with rescue groups and shelters, and subsequently transform spaces currently used to sell animals into spaces for animal adoption.

As of Dec. 6, the bill has still not been delivered to Gov. Hochul’s desk. Once it is, the governor must sign it to make it law.

According to New York-based animal rights group Voters For Animal Rights (VFAR), Gov. Hochul must sign the bill before 2022 is over, othewise “we have to start over from square one.”

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Gov. Kathy Hochul
Source: Getty Images

To become law, the puppy mill pipeline bill needs Gov. Kathy Hochul's signature.

Why are puppy mills bad? Here’s what you need to know about these mass breeding operations.

According to the Humane Society, puppy mills refer to commercial dog breeding facilities that prioritize profits over the health of the dogs. At puppy mills, mama dogs and papa dogs are exploited for their bodies.

They and their puppies (before being sold) are often kept in unhygienic living conditions, not given proper medical care, and subject to neglect, abuse, or cruelty. Instead of being lovingly cared for, they are essentially treated as livestock before making it to the shelves of pet stores.

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And sometimes, puppy mills share misleading information about themselves when selling pets online or in stores, describing themselves as “reputable breeders,” without providing any proof of that.

If Gov, Hochul signs the puppy mill pipeline bill into law, puppy mills, kitty mills, and rabbit mills in New York will not longer be allowed to operate, and New Yorkers will either have to get these animals through smaller breeders or — preferably — via adoption.

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Every year in the U.S., an average of 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, according to The Zebra, simply because not enough people are adopting. And as per the ASPCA via The Dutch, about 34 percent of dogs are bought from breeders or puppy mills — so clearly, adopting the dog, cat, or bunny of your dreams can make a huge difference.

How to help support the puppy mill pipeline bill:

VFAR believes that calling Gov. Hochul’s office is the most impactful thing New Yorkers can do right now to get this bill passed. Just call 518-474-8390, and then select 3; then, press 2 to speak to a live person, or press 1 to leave a voicemail. Once they answer, or after the beep, say something to the effect of:

“Hello, my name is _______. I am a New York State resident, and I am calling to urge Governor Hochul to sign bill S1130 into law. S1130 is bipartisan legislation that prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in NY pet stores."

You can also contact the governor via email by filling out the form on VFAR’s website, which will automatically send her an email on your behalf about the puppy mill pipeline bill.

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