New York lawmakers and animal advocates are making a final push to have Gov. Kathy Hochul sign a measure banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from retail stores.
The measure, opposed by pet stores, was approved earlier this year by state lawmakers and is now on Hochul's desk for her consideration.
Albany-area lawmakers on Monday, along with ASPCA officials from the region, urged Hochul to grant the measure final approval. The New York State Animal Protection Federation distributed post cards to the governor's office highlighting support of the proposal from voters.
“Of the $123.6B spent on pets in the United States, less than two percent comes from the sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits," said Libby Post, the group's executive director. "This is an opportunity for these pet stores to rebrand as humane businesses. New York can no longer afford to be complicit in animal abuse and as long as we allow puppy mills to bring their ‘product’ into the state, the Empire State is guilty of abuse. The overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle for this bill shows that the last bastion of nonpartisanship is puppies and kittens. Governor Hochul should join in this agreement and sign the bill.”
The measure received backing from Republicans and Democrats in Legislature; it was sponsored by state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Mike Gianaris.
Advocates have argued pet stores that sell dogs, cats and rabbits often do so with severe health issues.
Pet store owners, however, have pushed back, saying they are competing in the supply business with large companies like Petco, Amazon or Chewy. Some owners have said they would have to close if the measure takes effect.