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Nassau Legis. Venditto files bill to ban 'puppy mills'

Nassau Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) has filed legislation that would prevent the sale of dogs and cats bred in puppy or kitten “mills.” Venditto’s proposal, announced on Wednesday, comes after the Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday voted in favor of a bill designed to stop pet stores from selling puppies and kittens raised in mills that animal advocates have decried as being inhumane and unsafe.

“Sadly, there are breeders and brokers out there that operate substandard facilities which subject dogs and cats to inhumane and unsafe living conditions,” Venditto said. “By setting standards for the treatment of animals prior to sale, we can send a message to all breeders, brokers and pet dealers that we do not condone such misconduct in Nassau County.”

Matt Fernando, a spokesman for the Legislature’s Republican caucus said while Venditto had “monitored” Suffolk’s bill, Republicans had also been in talks with the Nassau County SPCA about introducing the legislation.

The bill calls for banning pet dealers from selling dogs or cats that are less than 14 weeks old, which Venditto said allows for proper weaning of a puppy or kitten from its mother.

Similar to Suffolk’s measure, Venditto’s proposal requires all pet dealers to provide pets offered for sale with daily access to clean water and food, and sets standards for cage sizes and how cages are stacked at retailers. It would also require stores to let buyers know that federal inspection reports of the breeders are available upon request, which is also included in Suffolk’s recently passed measure.

Venditto is running against Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) for the State Senate’s 8th district. In a phone interview, Denenberg said he had been working with animal advocates including Diane Madden, president of the Hope for Hempstead Shelter, to introduce a bill similar to Suffolk’s, but held off on filing legislation as he awaited feedback from some of the advocates.

When asked if Democrats would support Venditto’s proposal Denenberg said “generally if this law protects animals and prevents puppy mills from continuing to operate, we will look favorably upon it.”

Tags: Michael Venditto , Dave Denenberg

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