BILL NO A10150A
SAME AS No same as
MLTSPNSR Millman, Sweeney
Amd SS400, 401, 402, 403 & 404, add S408, Ag & Mkts L
Relates to the care of animals by pet dealers; establishes care and breeding
standards for pet dealers when dealing with dogs.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10150A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to the care of animals by pet dealers
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to
improve the existing definition of "pet dealer" to include wholesalers,
enable localities to inspect pet dealers, improve humane housing stand-
ards for pets kept by pet dealers, and require the department to revoke
pet dealer licenses upon conviction of animal cruelty.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 400 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to include
wholesalers in the definition of "pet dealer."
Section 401 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to improve the
conditions for dogs housed by pet dealers, including requirements that
all dogs over the age of six months have constant and unfettered access
to an indoor enclosure; that all dogs receive sufficient indoor space
for each dog to turn a complete circle; that all dogs have enough indoor
space for each dog to lie down and fully extend their limbs; that each
dog have at least twelve feet of indoor floor space for each dog up to
twenty five inches long. The section also requires the removal of waste
material from primary enclosures at least once per day, and the cleaning
of primary enclosures with sterilizing agents at least once per week.
Section 402 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to require pet
dealers to record the dates on which each animal was bred, identifica-
tion of each dog used in the breeding, the dates on which each female
animal whelped a litter, and the number of puppies in such litter.
Section 404 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to require the
commissioner to decline to grant or renew, or to suspend a pet dealer
license, if the commissioner determines that approval of the application
will in any way jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of animals.
Section 405 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to require the
commissioner to perform annual inspections of pet dealer' facilities,
except when the pet dealer sells less than twenty-five animals per year,
in which case inspections shall be made whenever in the discretion of
the commissioner or his or her authorized agents, a complaint warrants
such investigation. Persons, performing inspections or responding to
complaints shall be trained in the proper care of cats and dogs, and
investigation and identification of cruelty to animals, and shall report
suspected violations of article twenty-six of this chapter or regu-
lations promulgated thereunder to law enforcement and to the commission-
er in writing immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible. The
commissioner or any city or county authorized to conduct inspections may
require pet dealers to pay an annual inspection fee
JUSTIFICATION: A May 2010 report by the USDA's Office of the Inspector
General found that horrific suffering in puppy mills was routinely over-
looked by the USDA inspectors and that their inspection process was
wholly ineffective against problematic dealers. What have been dubbed
"puppy mills" have escaped proper inspection and oversight by local
counties and cities, due to significant issues in the current law. For
example, there is a loophole in the current definition of "pet dealer,"
which as it stands refers only to those breeders who sell directly to
the public, and ignores those who sell animals wholesale to pet stores
or brokers. Additionally, the current definition is based on the number
of animals a dealer sells, which opens the door to skirting inspections
with:the claim of inadequate sales. Another problem is rooted in the
ability of New York counties or cities to provide services without
receiving compensation through license fees, delegated by the commis-
sioner of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets.
This bill will improve the living conditions of animals housed by pet
dealers, and give localities the authority to take on inspection respon-
sibilities, by removing the requirements that they must handle licensure
in order to handle inspections. The bill also enables localities to fund
these inspections by imposing an inspection fee.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after
it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
May 9, 2012
Introduced by M. of A. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Agriculture -- committee discharged, bill amended,
ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the care
of animals by pet dealers
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 400 of the agriculture and markets
2 law, as amended by chapter 687 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read
3 as follows:
4 4. "Pet Dealer" means any person who:
5 (a) has possession of more than ten sexually intact female dogs over
6 the age of one year for the purpose of breeding those animals and sell-
7 ing any offspring as household pets; or
8 (b) engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals
9 per year for profit [to the public. Such definition shall include breed-
10 ers who sell or offer to sell animals; provided that a breeder who sells
11 or offers to sell directly to the consumer fewer than twenty-five
12 animals per year that are born and raised on the breeder's residential
13 premises shall not be considered a pet dealer as a result of selling or
14 offering to sell such animals]. Such definition shall [further] not
15 include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of
16 unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption whether
17 or not a fee for such adoption is charged.
18 § 2. Section 401 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chap-
19 ter 259 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows:
20 § 401. Minimum standards of animal care. Pet dealers shall comply with
21 the following minimum standards of care for every animal in their custo-
22 dy or possession.
23 1. Housing. (a) Animals shall be housed in primary enclosures or
24 cages, which shall be constructed so as to be structurally sound. Such
25 enclosures shall be maintained in good repair to contain the animal
26 housed inside and protect it from injury. Surfaces shall have an imper-
27 vious surface so as not to permit the absorption of fluids and which can
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 10150--A 2
1 be thoroughly and repeatedly cleaned and disinfected without retaining
2 odors. All dogs over the age of six months shall have constant and
3 unfettered access to an indoor enclosure.
4 (b) Primary enclosures or cages housing the animals shall provide
5 sufficient space to allow each animal adequate freedom of movement to
6 make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up,
7 turn around, and lie down with its limbs outstretched. [If the flooring
8 is constructed of metal strands, such strands must either be greater
9 than one-eighth inch in diameter (nine gauge wire) or shall be coated
10 with a material such as plastic or fiberglass, and shall be constructed
11 so as not to allow passage of the animal's feet through any opening in
12 the floor of the enclosure. Such flooring shall not sag or bend substan-
13 tially between structural supports.] All animals that are dogs shall be
15 (1) sufficient indoor space for each dog to turn in a complete circle
16 without any impediment (including a tether);
17 (2) enough indoor space for each dog to lie down and fully extend his
18 or her limbs and stretch freely without touching the side of an enclo-
19 sure or another dog;
20 (3) at least one foot of headroom above the head of the tallest dog in
21 the enclosure; and
22 (4) at least twelve square feet of indoor floor space per each dog up
23 to twenty-five inches long; at least twenty square feet of indoor floor
24 space per each dog between twenty-five and thirty-five inches long; and
25 at least thirty square feet of indoor floor space per each dog for dogs
26 thirty-five inches and longer (with the length of the dog measured from
27 the tip of the nose to the base of the tail). Flooring of primary
28 enclosures shall consist of a solid, impermeable material, except that
29 drains may be provided pursuant to paragraph (f) of this subdivision. A
30 primary enclosure shall not be stacked or placed on top of another
31 primary enclosure.
32 (c) Housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated at all times to
33 provide for the health and well-being of the animal. Ventilation shall
34 be provided by natural or mechanical means, such as windows, vents,
35 fans, or air conditioners. Ventilation shall be established to minimize
36 drafts, odors, and moisture condensation.
37 (d) The temperature surrounding the animal shall be compatible with
38 the health and well-being of the animal. Temperature shall be regulated
39 by heating and cooling to sufficiently protect each animal from extremes
40 of temperature and shall not be permitted to fall below or rise above
41 ranges which would pose a health hazard to the animal. For animals that
42 are dogs, the temperature shall not fall below forty-five degrees
43 Fahrenheit or rise above eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. This shall
44 include supplying shade from sunlight by natural or artificial means.
45 (e) The indoor facilities housing the animals shall be provided with
46 adequate lighting sufficient to permit routine inspection and cleaning
47 and be arranged so that each animal is protected from excessive illumi-
48 nation which poses a health hazard to the animal.
49 (f) The indoor and outdoor facilities housing the animals, including
50 the primary enclosure or cage, shall be designed to allow for the effi-
51 cient elimination of animal waste and water in order to keep the animal
52 dry and prevent the animal from coming into contact with these
53 substances. If drains are used they shall be constructed in a manner to
54 minimize foul odors and backup of sewage. If a drainage system is used
55 it shall comply with federal, state, and local laws relating to
56 pollution control.
A. 10150--A 3
1 (g) In the event that a pet dealer has a pregnant or nursing dog on
2 his or her premises, the pet dealer shall provide a whelping box for
3 such dog.
4 2. Sanitation. Housing facilities, including primary enclosures and
5 cages, shall be kept in a clean condition in order to maintain a healthy
6 environment for the animal. This shall include removing and destroying
7 any agents injurious to the health of the animal [and periodic clean-
8 ings. The primary enclosure or cage shall be constructed so as to elim-
9 inate excess water, excretions, and waste material]; removal of waste
10 material from primary enclosures at least once per day, and the cleaning
11 of primary enclosures with sterilizing agents at least once per week.
12 Under no circumstances shall the animal remain inside the primary enclo-
13 sure or cage while it is being cleaned with sterilizing agents, pressur-
14 ized water, steam, or agents toxic to animals or cleaned in a manner
15 likely to threaten the health and safety of the animal. Trash and waste
16 products on the premises shall be properly contained and disposed of so
17 as to minimize the risks of disease, contamination, and vermin.
18 3. Feeding and watering. (a) Animals shall be provided with wholesome
19 and palatable food at least once a day, free from contamination and of
20 nutritional value sufficient to maintain each animal in good health.
21 (b) [Animals] Each animal shall be adequately fed at intervals not to
22 exceed twelve hours or at least twice in any twenty-four hour period in
23 quantities appropriate for the animal species and age, unless determined
24 otherwise by and under the direction of a duly licensed veterinarian.
25 (c) Food receptacles shall be provided in sufficient number, of
26 adequate size, and so located as to enable each animal in the primary
27 enclosure or cage to be supplied with an adequate amount of food.
28 (d) [Animals] Each animal shall be provided with [regular] continuous
29 access to clean, fresh water[, supplied in a sanitary manner sufficient
30 for its needs,] that is not frozen, and is free of debris, feces, algae
31 and other contaminants except when there are instructions from a duly
32 licensed veterinarian to withhold water for medical reasons.
33 4. Handling. Each animal shall be handled in a humane manner so as not
34 to cause the animal physical injury or harm.
35 5. Veterinary care. (a) All animals shall be inoculated as required by
36 state or local law, and shall, at minimum receive an annual examination
37 by a duly licensed veterinarian and prompt treatment of any illness or
38 injury by a duly licensed veterinarian. Veterinary care appropriate to
39 the species shall be provided without undue delay when necessary. Each
40 animal shall be observed each day by the pet dealer or by a person work-
41 ing under the pet dealer's supervision.
42 (b) Within five business days of receipt, but prior to sale of any
43 dog, the pet dealer shall have a duly licensed veterinarian conduct an
44 examination and tests appropriate to the age and breed to determine if
45 the animal has any medical conditions apparent at the time of the exam-
46 ination that adversely affect the health of the animal. For animals
47 eighteen months of age or older, such examination shall include a diag-
48 nosis of any congenital conditions that adversely affect the health of
49 the animal. Any animal found to be afflicted with a contagious disease
50 shall be treated and caged separately from healthy animals.
51 (c) If an animal suffers from a congenital or hereditary condition,
52 disease, or illness which, in the professional opinion of the pet deal-
53 er's veterinarian, requires euthanasia, the veterinarian shall humanely
54 euthanize such animal without undue delay.
55 (d) In the event an animal is returned to a pet dealer due to a
56 congenital or hereditary condition, illness, or disease requiring veter-
A. 10150--A 4
1 inary care, the pet dealer shall, without undue delay, provide the
2 animal with proper veterinary care to treat such condition, illness or
4 (e) No dog shall be bred to produce more than two litters in any eigh-
5 teen month period. No dog may be bred if the animal is younger than one
6 year or older than eight years of age.
7 (f) A veterinarian who examines, cares for, or otherwise treats an
8 animal belonging to a pet dealer shall retain records related to such
9 veterinary care for a period of three years from the dates the animal is
10 examined or treated and, during normal business hours, shall make them
11 available to persons authorized by law to enforce the provisions of this
12 article. The pet dealer shall also retain all records related to such
13 veterinary care for a period of three years from the date the animal is
14 examined or treated and, during normal business hours, shall make them
15 available to persons authorized by law to enforce the provisions of this
17 6. Humane euthanasia. [Humane euthanasia of an animal shall be carried
18 out in accordance with section three hundred seventy-four of this chap-
19 ter.] (a) Humane euthanasia of animals shall be accomplished only by a
20 licensed veterinarian using lawful techniques deemed "acceptable" for
21 dogs by the American Veterinary Medical Association and in accordance
22 with section three hundred seventy-four of this chapter.
23 (b) No animal shall be left unattended between the time that the
24 euthanasia procedure begins and the time when death is confirmed. The
25 body of a euthanized animal shall not be disposed of in any manner until
26 death is confirmed by a licensed veterinarian, a certified euthanasia
27 technician or a licensed veterinary technician.
28 7. Grooming. Each animal shall be provided with basic grooming suffi-
29 cient to prevent curling of nails or matting of fur.
30 8. Exercise. Each animal that is a dog shall be provided daily with
31 regular exercise, unless a licensed veterinarian states in writing that
32 such exercise would be detrimental to the animal's health. Such exercise
33 shall consist of constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise
34 area that is composed of a solid, ground level surface with adequate
35 drainage, provides adequate protection from the elements, and provides
36 each dog with at least twice the indoor square footage of the indoor
37 floor space provided to that dog.
38 § 3. Subdivision 6 of section 402 of the agriculture and markets law
39 is renumbered subdivision 7 and a new subdivision 6 is added to read as
41 6. The dates on which each animal was bred, identification of each dog
42 used in the breeding, the dates on which each female animal whelped a
43 litter, and the number of puppies in each such litter.
44 § 4. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 403 of the agriculture and
45 markets law, as added by chapter 259 of the laws of 2000, are amended to
46 read as follows:
47 1. No person shall operate as a pet dealer unless such person holds a
48 license issued therefor by the commissioner. [Notwithstanding the fore-
49 going, a pet dealer, in operation on or before the effective date of
50 this section, who has filed an application for an initial license under
51 this article shall be authorized to operate without such license until
52 the commissioner grants or, after notice and opportunity to be heard,
53 declines to grant such license.] Each application for a license shall be
54 made on a form supplied by the department and shall contain such infor-
55 mation as may be required by the department. Renewal applications shall
A. 10150--A 5
1 be submitted to the commissioner at least thirty days prior to the
2 commencement of the next license year.
3 3. Each application for a license shall be accompanied by a nonrefund-
4 able fee of one hundred dollars[, except that those pet dealers who
5 engage in the sale of less than twenty-five animals in a year, shall pay
6 a nonrefundable fee of twenty-five dollars].
7 § 5. Section 404 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chap-
8 ter 259 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows:
9 § 404. License refusal, suspension, or revocation. 1. The commissioner
10 may decline to grant or renew or may suspend or revoke a pet dealer
11 license, on any one of the following grounds:
12 [1.] (a) Material misstatement in the license application.
13 [2.] (b) Material misstatement in or falsification of records required
14 to be kept pursuant to this article, or under any regulation promulgated
15 thereunder, or failure to allow the commissioner or his or her author-
16 ized agents to inspect records or pet dealer facilities.
17 [3. Violation of any provision of this article or conviction] (c) A
18 violation of any provision of this article.
19 2. The commissioner shall, consistent with article twenty-three-A of
20 the correction law, decline to grant, or shall suspend, decline to renew
21 or revoke a pet dealer license on any one of the following grounds,
22 unless the department determines, in its discretion, that approval of
23 the application will not in any way jeopardize the health, safety or
24 welfare of animals:
25 (a) Conviction of a violation of any provision of article twenty-six
26 of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder pertaining to
27 humane treatment of animals, cruelty to animals, endangering the life or
28 health of an animal[, or violation].
29 (b) Violation of any federal, state, or local law pertaining to the
30 care, treatment, sale, possession, or handling of animals or any regu-
31 lation or rule promulgated pursuant thereto relating to the endangerment
32 of the life or health of an animal.
33 [4.] 3. Before any license shall be suspended or revoked, the commis-
34 sioner, or any hearing officer he or she may designate, shall hold a
35 hearing, upon due notice to the licensee, in accordance with any regu-
36 lations promulgated by the department and in accordance with articles
37 three and four of the state administrative procedure act.
38 [5.] 4. Any action of the commissioner shall be subject to judicial
39 review in a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice
40 law and rules. The commissioner may suspend a pet dealer's license pend-
41 ing a determination in an article seventy-eight proceeding.
42 5. The refusal, suspension, or revocation of a pet dealer's license
43 under this section shall not prevent the levying of additional civil
44 penalties, as provided in section four hundred six of this article, for
46 § 6. Section 405 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by
47 chapter 259 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows:
48 § 405. Inspection of pet dealers. 1. The commissioner or his or her
49 authorized agents shall, at a minimum, make yearly inspections of pet
50 dealers' facilities to ensure compliance with the provisions of this
51 article and with the provisions of article thirty-five-D of the general
52 business law[, except for those pet dealers who engage in the sale of
53 less than twenty-five animals in a year, in which case inspections shall
54 be made whenever in the discretion of the commissioner or his or her
55 authorized agents, a complaint warrants such investigation].
A. 10150--A 6
1 2. The commissioner may, pursuant to an agreement entered into with a
2 county or city delegate the authority to conduct inspections of pet
3 dealers and to respond to complaints concerning pet dealers to such
4 county or city where the pet dealer is located[; provided however such
5 delegation of inspection authority shall only be permitted where the
6 commissioner has delegated his or her authority to issue licenses pursu-
7 ant to section four hundred three of this article].
8 3. Any person conducting an inspection of a pet dealer or responding
9 to a complaint concerning a pet dealer shall be specifically trained in
10 the proper care of cats and dogs and in the investigation and identifi-
11 cation of cruelty to animals.
12 4. Any person conducting an inspection of a pet dealer shall, upon
13 belief that article twenty-six of this chapter or regulations promulgat-
14 ed thereunder pertaining to humane treatment of animals, cruelty to
15 animals, or endangering the life or health of an animal have been
16 violated, report the suspected violation to a duly authorized law
17 enforcement agent and to the commissioner in writing immediately, or as
18 soon as is reasonably possible.
19 5. The commissioner or any county or city agent duly authorized to
20 conduct inspections of pet dealers may require pet dealers to pay an
21 annual inspection fee to be paid within thirty days of an annual
23 (a) Any moneys received by the commissioner pursuant to this section
24 shall be deposited in the "pet dealer licensing fund" established pursu-
25 ant to section ninety-seven-rr of the state finance law.
26 (b) Any city or county is hereby authorized to deposit any moneys
27 received pursuant to this section in the respective city or county's
28 general fund; into any fund created for the purposes of administering
29 this section; or into any fund providing for animal welfare generally.
30 § 7. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
31 section 408 to read as follows:
32 § 408. Severability. If any provision of this article, or the applica-
33 tion thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or uncon-
34 stitutional, that invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect
35 other provisions or applications of this article that can be given
36 effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application,
37 and to this end the provisions of this article are severable.
38 § 8. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
39 have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or
40 repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of
41 this act on its effective date is authorized to be made and completed on
42 or before such effective date.