New York pet store owners will not be allowed to sell animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits anymore in 2024; they’ll also be forbidden to sell more than 9 animals in a year— this is a new law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
New York is not the only state to ban commercial breeding. Many other states already forbid this practice. The state of California was the first to do it in 2017. Just about a year later, Maryland followed. Several cities now also disallow the mass breeding of cats, dogs, and rabbits. For instance, the cities Boston and Philadelphia also declare the retail selling of the said animals illegal.
When states make animal sales in pet stores illegal, it’s a step toward tackling the root cause of the problem by discouraging puppy mill breeders.
Puppy mills and other mass animal breeding places still breed “designer” animals to sell them at a higher price— and the retailers mark up the animals even more. These animals are marketed to be “cute” as they possess unusual but (supposedly yet sadly) sought-after features such as being smaller than their average breed, or their snout being flatter than their other flat-snout relatives; these physical qualities are the result of improper breeding like inbreeding or mating two sick pets with each other. More often than not, the retail animals are runts.
Animals in commercial breeding environments live in horrific conditions. Hundreds (and sometimes, thousands) of them are cramped in tight spaces. Countless animals are forced to breed even without having a veterinarian check their health first. There are also a disturbing number of cases where the animals suffer from neglect and abuse.
New York’s newest law enforces animal sellers to work in animal shelters so people will adopt homeless animals instead of purchasing commercially bred ones, but we still have a long way to go— even the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a hard time tracking and shutting down puppy mills.
Until the law that animal sales in pet stores become illegal, the best solution to eradicate the large-scale breeding of animals is to adopt animals that already exist in animal shelters.
New York is the latest state to make animal sales in pet stores illegal. This is one step closer to eliminating unnecessary and horrifying ways that animals are bred, but until the whole country abolishes commercial animal breeding, there will still be several homeless and unloved ones that will continue to suffer. Adopting cats, dogs, or rabbits instead of purchasing them is cheaper and it doesn’t give puppy mills and abusive (and neglectful) breeders something to profit from.
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