Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Groundbreaking Bill to Ban Sale of Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits in Pet Stores Statewide Signed into Law

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that her groundbreaking legislation to end the puppy mill pipeline in New York State has been signed into law. The law prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from pet stores statewide, and allows pet stores to make space available to show animals up for adoption. 

"Shutting down the abhorrent puppy mill pipeline that has long funneled sick and dying animals to New York State pet stores will go a long way in shutting down puppy mills nationwide," said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF - Manhattan). "Animals endure horrific abuse inside these cruel breeding factories, producing offspring that are genetically damaged and chronically ill. The signing of this law sends a message that New York State will prioritize the humane treatment of animals over the financial interests of a barbaric industry that inflicts pain on animals and consumers alike."

Nationwide, hundreds of pet stores have opted to create a more humane business model by no longer selling live animals, and instead turning a profit by selling food, clothing, grooming, toys and other items that pet owners need. When rescue groups showcase animals available for adoption at stores, consumers purchase those goods there. Today, only approximately 60 stores statewide sell dogs, cats and rabbits. 

“Unbeknownst to families, many of the sweet puppies, kittens and bunnies living in pet stores are plagued by diseases and other health issues, which will result in costly veterinarian visits,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Animals sold in pet stores are sourced from out-of-state puppy mills and sold for thousands of dollars, perpetuating a cruel system that churns out puppies kept in horrific conditions for the sole purpose of making a profit, despite the misery of animals, sentient beings who suffer tremendously at the hands of this industry. Responsible breeders take great care of the small number of animals they sell, and rescues and shelters across the state are brimming with lovable animals needing a good home.”

Assemblymember Rosenthal proudly shares her home with her two loving rescue cats, Kitty and Vida.

New York joins California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland and Washington in banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.

The passage of this law, which was sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris in the state Senate, was backed by a multitude of animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, the New York State Animal Protection Federation, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Voters for Animal Rights, Companion Animal Protection Society and more than 100 others.

“The passage and signing of the Puppy Mill Pipeline law – which has been a longstanding goal for animal welfare groups across the state – is a historic win for New York’s animals, consumers, and communities. By ending the sale of cruelly bred puppy mill dogs in state pet shops, New York is shutting down the pipeline that enables retail sellers and commercial breeders to profit from unconscionable brutality,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “In one year, New York will go from having one of the country’s highest concentrations of pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies to a place that refuses to be an accomplice in this cruel process. We’re grateful to Assemblymember Rosenthal and Senator Gianaris for championing the passage of the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill and Governor Hochul for signing it, reflecting the deep compassion New Yorkers have for animals in need and a unified determination to reject animal cruelty statewide.” 

“Animal advocates are rejoicing that New York has finally shut the door on this cruel puppy mill industry. There’s no place left for them in our state,” said Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. “The unwavering support and skills of Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Mike Gianaris made it possible to bring this groundbreaking legislation over the finish line, once and for all. With Governor Hochul’s signature on the bipartisan Puppy Mill Pipeline bill, New York continues to lead other states by rejecting animal cruelty and the puppy mills that profit from such an inherently inhumane system.

"By signing the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill Governor Hochul is sending a clear message that New York will no longer profit off the type of abuse that happens at puppy mills across the country. She joins the tens of thousands of New Yorkers and state legislators from both sides of the aisle who support this bill. Our thanks go to the Governor and to Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Michael Gianaris for their leadership in getting this done," said Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation.

“Today, New York largely codifies one of the core mantras of the animal rights community: “Adopt Don’t Shop.” We applaud Governor Hochul for her outstanding leadership in declaring that New York is closed to the abusive puppy, kitten and bunny mill industries. We hope more states will soon follow New York’s lead and make cruel breeding facilities a dark relic of the past. Thank you to Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Michael Gianaris for championing this historic law," said Allie Taylor, President of Voters for Animal Rights.

“We are immensely grateful to Governor Hochul for signing the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law,” says Stephen Wells, Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Shutting down the puppy mill to pet store pipeline cuts off a critical revenue source for puppy mill operators and will save countless animals from suffering. The New York Legislature has taken a strong stand to protect companion animals and New Yorkers, and we applaud their leadership.”

"Companion Animal Protection Society would like to thank Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Senator Michael Gianaris for their leadership in shutting down the pipeline of abuse into New York State. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for signing the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law. Over the last 10 years, CAPS has investigated every pet shop in New York and many of the puppy and kitten mills selling to them. Our short documentary, video exposés, and in-depth investigations and reports reveal rampant consumer fraud and deception at the New York pet shops and inhumane, abhorrent conditions at the mills, most of them USDA-licensed. The enactment of a statewide retail ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet shops will have a profound impact on this cruel industry and will inspire more states to follow suit," said Barbara Dennihy, New York Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society.

Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS said, "NYCLASS is overjoyed that the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill was signed into law by Governor Hochul – with the stroke of her pen, the Governor will be shutting down a pipeline of horrifically cruel puppy mills that lead directly to New York pet shops. Replacing dogs, cats and rabbits sold in pet shops with animals from shelters and rescue groups will help increase adoption of these animals instead of enriching abusive breeders. It is a historic win-win for New Yorkers and thousands of animals. We are tremendously grateful for the tireless advocacy of NY Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and NY Senator Gianaris to get this bill over the finish line and become the law of the land.