Hochul urged to ban sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in stores

New York lawmakers and animal advocates are making a final push to get Governor Kathy Hochul to sign a measure banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores.

The measure, opposed by pet stores, was approved by state lawmakers earlier this year and is now on Hochul’s desk for consideration.

On Monday, Albany-area lawmakers, along with area ASPCA officials, urged Hochul to grant final approval for the measure. The New York State Animal Welfare Federation distributed postcards to the governor’s office highlighting voter support for the proposal.

“Of the $123.6 billion spent on pets in the United States, less than two percent comes from the sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits,” said Libby Post, the group’s chief executive. “This is an opportunity for these pet shops to rebrand themselves as human enterprises. New York can no longer afford to be complicit in animal abuse and as long as we allow puppy mills to bring their ‘product’ into the State, the Empire State is guilty of abuse The overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle for this bill shows that the last bastion of fairness is puppies and kittens Governor Hochul should join in this agreement and sign the bill.

The measure received support from both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature; it was sponsored by State Assemblyman Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Mike Gianaris.

Proponents have argued that pet stores that sell dogs, cats and rabbits often do so with serious health issues.

Pet store owners, however, have pushed back, saying they compete in the supply business with big companies like Petco, Amazon or Chewy. Some landlords said they would have to close if the measure comes into effect.