Assemblywoman Paulin's Bill Regulating Animal Care In Pet Stores Passes Assembly

The bill addresses standards by pet dealers.

Pet stores will be under closer scrutiny if a bill, intended to protect the furry friends being sold, is passed by the state senate.

Assemblywoman (D-Westchester) announced the assembly's passage of A. 697-D–"a bill to address the standards of care of animals by pet dealers which have not been updated for over a decade."

The same bill, S. 7268, is currently before the senate. 

This bill is “long overdue,” Paulin said in a statement. “As a strong advocate of animal protection, I think these changes will go a long way toward addressing some of the concerns that I have seen."

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Earlier this year, Paulin came under fire for a

In March, that legislation was put on hold as wanted to rid a proposed bill of any confusion. Amendments to the bill, which have stirred up have been filed in the assembly in Albany and the legislation is on hold pending additional review.

ASPCA Northeastern Legislative Director Bill Ketzer said in a statement that the ASPCA supports this new Pet Dealers Bill.

"The ASPCA believes requiring pet dealers to establish both exercise opportunities for dogs and a veterinary care program is a positive step toward improving the lives of thousands of dogs and raising awareness regarding some of the conditions we have found at commercial breeding premises in New York State," Ketzer stated. "We look forward to continuing our work with Assemblywoman Paulin, Senator Ball and their colleagues toward meaningful change for dogs in these facilities."

Currently, a licensed pet dealer is inspected annually by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, according to Paulin. Dealers "are expected to adhere to the proper standards of care for dogs and cats."

The Pet Dealer Bill will require stores and pet dealers to keep healthy dogs and dogs with symptoms of contagious diseases separate. The bill will also require regular visits to the vet and a written program by a vet. Also, it requires pet dealers to "maintain a daily exercise program for dogs appropriate to their breed."

Michael Maddox, the Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (“PIJAC”), said he supports the bill and Paulin's efforts.

“We are extremely supportive of the Assemblywoman’s efforts in updating the standards of care for regulated pet dealers and taking a strong, but reasonable approach to this issue,” Maddox said in a statement. “We share the Assemblywoman’s goal of ensuring that pet dealers observe sound standards and are pleased that PIJAC can offer its unequivocal support for her bill.”

Paulin's district includes Scarsdale, Pelham, Eastchester, part of White Plains and part of New Rochelle.

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