Gov. Cuomo signs legislation to crack down on unscrupulous pet dealers
Monday, August 21, 2017 - 2:33 pm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Aug. 15 to regulate pet dealers and crack down on unscrupulous practices in this industry in St. Lawrence County and across New York State. The bill (S.5599/A.7195) requires incorporated animal shelters, rescue organizations and other non-profit entities that transport or offer animals up for adoption in New York State to register with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, subjecting them to state regulation for the first time.

"For too long, unscrupulous pet dealers have avoided proper oversight, and placed the health of pets under their care at risk in the name of profits," Governor Cuomo said. "This legislation closes this loophole and creates a framework that allows regulation of these organizations and companies and creates peace of mind for pet owners."

Current law authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Markets to oversee and regulate municipal animal shelters and any entity serving in that capacity under contract. The current law exempts humane societies.

This allows some unscrupulous businesses that sell animals take advantage of this exemption, and organize as not-for-profit humane societies to avoid the stringent importation, inspection and documentation requirements set forth in New York's pet dealer regulations.

These owners then seek to sell pets as quickly as possible and house their animals in unsafe and unsanitary conditions without adequate food or care.

This legislation fixes that loophole and requires not-for-profit entities to comply with all documentation and vaccination requirements associated with the import of pets into the state for purchase. Potential pet owners will now have greater insight into the animals they are seeking to adopt, and these facilities will be subject to greater oversight and compliance.