Westchester County, NY - Puppies Don't Belong in Mills

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We, the undersigned, are petitioning for a county law in Westchester County, NY, which prohibits the sale of animals from commercial breeders (a.k.a. puppy, kitten or other small animal mills).

As illustrated by the arrest of local pet store owner Richard Doyle on felony animal cruelty charges, animals sold from these types of stores come from commercial puppy/kitten mills and are most often unhealthy, neglected and ill-treated both at the mills and at the stores.

The following is a bulleted summary of horrible conditions as researched in a 13-page report on puppy mills from the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association:

  • Puppy mills focus on quantity rather than quality…When dogs live in overcrowded conditions, diseases spread easily.
  • In puppy mills, dogs are bred early and often. Females are typically bred every cycle, regardless of their health.
  • Most dogs in puppy mills are subject to constant confinement, with little to no exercise.
  • Continuous confinement results in a lack of human contact and other forms of environmental enrichment…This lack of stimulation can lead to serious behavioral problems and emotional stress.
  • Many puppy mills have poor sanitation, food, and water.
    Breeding dogs in puppy mills often suffer from injuries and diseases that go untreated. Injuries and disorders that don’t affect a dog’s reproductive capabilities are rarely treated.

With this information in mind, the municipalities of Mamaroneck and Mt Pleasant, Rye Brook, Yorktown and Port Chester in Westchester County, NY have already passed laws prohibiting the sale of commercially bred animals. These communities have made a statement that pet stores like the abusive ones owned by Richard Doyle in Mohegan Lake, NY, Mamaroneck, NY, Wappingers Falls, NY, and Danbury, CT are not welcome. We would like the county of Westchester to make this same statement by passing a similar law that would be applicable to the entire county.

The following are relevant parts of the existing Mamaroneck law (from SECTION 1. Chapter 156 of the Code of the Village of Mamaroneck, Dogs & Other Animals) that we support and encourage the county of Westchester, NY to adopt and pass. "County of Westchester" has been inserted into the law to show how the law might read.

156- 12 Prohibition on Sale of Commercially Bred Dogs and Cats in Pet Stores

a. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any live dog or cat in any pet store, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the [County of Westchester], unless the dog or cat was obtained from an animal shelter or a humane society located in the County of Westchester, or a nonprofit rescue and humane organization registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture.

b. For purposes of this Section, a rescue and humane organization is defined as a New York State nonprofit corporation that is exempt from taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 ( c) ( 3), participates in early age spay/neuter of animals, complies with State and local laws regarding the humane treatment of animals, and whose mission and practice is, in whole or in significant part, the rescue and placement of dogs and/or cats.

156- 13 Penalties for Offenses

A violation of this Article may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. A violation of this Article also may be enforced by means of an administrative citation and penalty in the amount of $250 for the first violation, 500 for the second violation and $ 1,000 for the third violation. Each animal sold in violation of this article shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

Signers of this petition are looking forward to Westchester County, NY taking notice of the municipalities within Westchester County who have passed humane puppy mill ban laws and make the entire county a more cruelty-free community.



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