The NY Legislature should pass the Puppy Mill Pipeline Act - Here's why
From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

The NY Legislature should pass the Puppy Mill Pipeline Act - Here's why

Letter as published on
April 16, 2021

The New York State Legislature is currently considering the Puppy Mill Pipeline Act, S.1130/A.4283. This bill would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits by retail pet shops, and would stop puppy mills from being able to do business in New York. This bill has already passed in the state Senate: We strongly urge the Assembly to vote this bill into law, and join the almost 300 other U.S. venues that have taken this urgently needed humane step.

Now that so many societal norms are being scrutinized and challenged, let's examine the adorable puppies being displayed to us in the pet shop window, to see their hidden, harsh reality. Researching this topic reveals horrifying, filthy wire cages stacked on top of each other. Dogs in puppy mill settings often suffer from deformities, eye, skin and foot infections, rampant disease, scars from multiple pregnancy cesareans, and minimal or no veterinary care for animals who never know a loving word. Too often, dogs that have been abused and even sexually assaulted repeatedly are later killed, abandoned or dumped into shelters. Puppies deemed unfit for sale meet similar fates.

News outlets reported that the state Attorney General actually busted a Greenburgh pet shop for selling sick animals and for using puppy mills but lying to the public that their animals were "home raised." The puppy mill this store used was allegedly one of the Humane Society of the United States' "Horrible Hundred" a directory of some of the worst puppy mills "for the purpose of warning consumers about the inhumane conditions that so many puppy buyers inadvertently support."

USDA oversight is nearly non-existent. Most puppy mills are licensed by the USDA; even the especially awful ones used by the Greenburgh store the AG busted were "licensed" and their multiple violations for lack of veterinary care and filth didn't get those licenses revoked. Pet shop dealers response? Too often, they've said that there are worse things done to animals. That's quite a ringing endorsement of profound, unacceptable exploitation.

The National Breeders Clubs' Code of Ethics almost completely prohibits and discourages members from selling to pet stores.

It's so easy for government to let efforts for the voiceless go unheeded but we are their voice. Remember their silent suffering: We strongly urge Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo to report this bill out of committee so it can be voted on by the entire legislature. People should think about the facts cited here if you hesitate in front of a pet shop window then just keep going; don't contribute to this cycle of cruelty and misery. The public will still be able to get pedigreed animals from private breeders and breed rescue groups as well as shelters.

These poor animals have awareness and know they are considered throwaway trash yet they still hold a glimmer of hope for kindness, as all sentient, intelligent beings do. Be their hope, state legislators: Pass Bill S.1130/A.4283 to help stop this shameful suffering-for-profit, stop the overbreeding and stop the million-plus animals slaughtered in shelters yearly for lack of a good home. A compassionate future awaits us; it's in your hands right now.

Kiley Blackman is an advocate with Animal Defenders of Westchester.

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