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Law requires better treatment of pets for sale at stores, by dealers

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill into

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill into law Thursday that requires pet dealers to do such things as provide annual physical exams, clean enclosures and food dishes daily, and perform regular grooming. Credit: Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation

ALBANY — A new law requires safer and more sanitary conditions for pets in the care of dealers and pet stores after years of abuse by some of the companies, according to lawmakers.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill into law Thursday. It requires pet dealers to provide annual physical exams, to clean enclosures and food dishes daily, sanitize living spaces every two weeks, isolate ill animals to avoid spreading of disease, provide regular grooming, install lighting that provides darkness for sleeping, and  provide separate spaces for pregnant dogs to nurse and care for their puppies.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Jen Metzger (D-Rosendale), said the law “provides much-needed protection from the kind of abusive practices and negligent behavior that has occurred at unscrupulous puppy mills, which care only about profit with little regard for the animals' welfare.”

Assemb. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), the co-sponsor, said the law follows reports of widespread neglect by some dealers.

"There have been too many instances when pet dealers have neglected to properly groom animals in their charge, and those animals have been found with overgrown nails, excessive matting of fur, and infestations of fleas and ticks,” Paulin said.

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