Breaking: In major blow to puppy mills, New York ends the sale of puppies in pet stores

By on December 15, 2022 with 19 Comments

In a crushing blow to puppy mills and their pet store sales outlets, New York just became the sixth state in the U.S. to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet stores. Dozens of puppy-selling pet stores—about 10% of all such stores in the nation—currently operate in New York, and they’ll have to convert to a humane business model.

The bi-partisan, overwhelming support from New York lawmakers (the bill passed the Senate 57-5 and the Assembly 133-16) to stop the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores is a testament to the thousands of New Yorkers who demanded their elected officials stand up for what is right for both animals and the public. We are grateful to Gov. Kathy Hochul for signing the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill and to Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Sen. Michael Gianaris for championing it in their respective chambers.

This good news furthers the paradigm shift happening across the country that turns away from viewing pets as commodities. Earlier this month, Clark County, Nevada, passed a local ordinance prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats, rabbits and potbellied pigs in pet stores, a big win considering it will stop 13 pet stores from selling puppy mill puppies. With the New York bill becoming law, laws enacted in 2022 alone will require an estimated 100 stores to change their business model away from selling puppies and kittens, often sourced from cruel mills.

For years, we’ve exposed the cruelty that New York pet stores perpetuate. Sportsman’s Kennels, a massive breeder and pet store located on Long Island, appeared in this year’s Horrible Hundred report of problem puppy mills. Earlier this year, it was cited by the state for strong odors, contaminated water and decrepit conditions. Additional breeders featured in the Horrible Hundred 2022 sold puppies to New York pet stores.

We obtained public records showing that at least 25 New York pet stores bought puppies from Daniel Gingerich, one of the worst known puppy mills in history. In 2021, Gingerich accumulated over 120 animal welfare violations for filthy conditions and dogs who were dead, sick, injured, emaciated and heat distressed. This “shocking cruelty” led to the first federal indictment of a commercial breeder for Animal Welfare Act violations and to Gingerich settling with the Department of Justice, agreeing to relinquish all 500 dogs.

Federal inspectors photographed dogs suffering at Daniel Gingerich’s U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed puppy mill in Iowa that sold to dozens of pet stores. Inspectors found many sick or injured dogs and some dead puppies on the property on different dates in 2021. USDA

The cruelty, unfortunately, doesn’t stop at the puppy mill. Late last year, we released a heartbreaking investigation of one of the largest pet stores in New York City, American Kennels. Our investigator found sick and dying puppies, at least one puppy who died in the store, filthy conditions and large-breed puppies cramped into tiny cages. The store now appears to be permanently closed. And, in 2017, we found similar conditions at a Manhattan pet store called Chelsea Kennel Club. The store’s owners were eventually fined approximately $4 million for failing to provide proper care to sick dogs and for knowingly selling sick puppies to the public, and the store permanently closed.

We’ve long argued that we can’t investigate or rescue our way out of the puppy mill problem. That’s why laws like the one that New York just enacted are so crucial. They acknowledge that there is no humane or consumer-friendly way to sell weeks-old puppies at retail and that the whole pipeline is too broken to repair.

Those looking to add a new pet to their family should adopt from a shelter or rescue or seek out a responsible breeder who only sells puppies directly to the public and proudly shows the conditions the parent dogs live in.

New York joins Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Washington, California and over 440 localities in enacting this humane policy. We’ve come a long way and the momentum is on our side. While we celebrate this victory we’re gearing up for more fights in other states and key cities and counties across the country. We won’t stop until puppy mills have nowhere left to sell.

Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Romanie R Baines says:

    Great that NYS Governor Hochul finally signed this bill after having it languishing and ready to be signed for a year already. Sad also, that actually the new laws won’t go into effect for yet another two years.

  2. Paul Shilling says:

    Senators call for new regulation for dog breeders- puppy mills. World’s first pet Unicorn License issued.

  3. Mark Garon says:

    Thank God this should happen everywhere

  4. Gilbert Artman says:

    Now what happens to the poor creatures already “in the pipeline”?!

  5. Stephanie Myers says:

    This is fantastic! So happy and relieved. Thank you Governor Houcal.

  6. June says:

    This action is beyond amazing!!!! I’m so happy that retail stores will no longer be selling puppies from puppy mills!! Kudos to you. 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

  7. Karin Erker says:

    Danke für ihren Einsatz für die durch Menschen gequälten tiere … Stop tierquäler

  8. Barbara Johnson says:

    Thanks for saving puppies.

  9. Sandra says:

    Nice. Very goood.

  10. Bethsaida Valentin says:

    Please stop the puppy mills . It is inhumane.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I do not like Kathy Hochul at all, but glad she stepped up to the plate for the puppies. It’s horrible what goes on in this country to innocent animals!

  12. Karin Erker says:

    Stop die tierqual … bestraft die tierquäler … was sind das für brutale Menschen, die Tieren leid zufügen… danke für ihren Einsatz …

  13. Dawn Robbins says:

    Responsibility is the key here! Responsible breeders and responsible consumers….there is no grey area when it comes to the lives of these animals. I wholeheartedly agree with this bill and pray it has a positive impact.

  14. Gina Jackson says:

    I am a animal lover and animal cruelty is so horrible in so many ways i do what i can i commend all of u keep up the good job im so happy that law was passed we all have to keep doing what were doing and be the animals voice im so happy we are making progress happy holidays to u all

  15. Ray Winfield says:

    As a citizen of the UK, I understand only too well how hard it is to get someone kind and humane voted into THE top job in ones country.
    That is why it is so important for all you in the USA to fight tooth and nail to re-elect Joe Biden President for a second term.
    Even if Mr. Biden proves to be ill during a second term, it would be half the battle to have a Democrat in office at the time.
    One thing is for sure, a Donald Trump Presidency would be bad for many Americans, but from past performance VERY bad for wildlife and domestic animals. Happy Christmas.

  16. Pamela says:

    This is such good news but what is going to happen to all the breeding dogs. Hopefully they will surrender them. Who knows what their fate will be if they are not needed. Unfortunately some people can be so heartless.

  17. Karin Erker says:

    Stop das unendliche tierleid und bestraft die tierquäler

  18. Diana Bryant says:

    Thank you so very much for your humanitarian support in saving the lives of innocent animals. You are an amazing person and the best governor we have ever had.Sincerely,Diana Bryant,Syracuse New York

  19. Estrella Shabot says:

    Ve humans with animals stop mistreatment

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