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Ludicrous Lawsuit: Special Interest Groups Sue NYC To Overturn New Puppy Mill Ban

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The recent passage of New York City’s Local Laws 5 and 7 – designed to strike a blow to puppy mill operations – already has special interests groups up in arms as they feel the well-intentioned laws will result in the needless deaths of hundreds of animals.

The New York Pet Welfare Association (NYPWA) is challenging the laws claiming that any puppy bought over the weekend now has its “life in jeopardy” because its resale is banned. Hmm… don’t we consider our pets part of the family versus something for resale?

Local Law 5 bans the sale of pets to city shops, bans breeders from selling their animals to pet shops without a sign-off from veterinarians, and bans the sale of “healthy purebred, or specially bred” puppies who are just 8 to 12 weeks old. This sounds reasonable to me, so why the fear-mongering?

Related: What Is A Puppy Mill?

The NYPWA insists that hobby breeders should have a right to sell to pet shops because the pups are what help these retailers turn a profit. “Without a source of puppies to sell, pet shops will go out of business.”  Hmm, interesting argument – because that’s what happened to other cities that outlawed the sale of puppy and kittens at pet stores. Oh wait… no it didn’t!

Interesting fact: the NYPWA is comprised of pet store owners from New York City and other jurisdictions as well as U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed dog breeders and brokers. Call me crazy, but is this not considered a conflict of interest? Sure, calling yourself a pet welfare association is a smart marketing move – no one would take you seriously if you called yourself “Greedy Puppy Mill Lovers Association.”

While it was inevitable that laws designed to crack down on puppy mills would have a ripple effect throughout the industry, the group’s determination to overlook the good that can come from such laws seems a little self-serving as they attempt to generate angst among animal lovers by claiming hundreds of puppies will be doomed.

Related: Help The Puppy Mill Project Shut Down The Puppy Production Line

Also being challenged is Local Law 7 that requires veterinarians to spay or neuter all dogs and cats before their sale. NYPWA feels the law may jeopardize the veterinarian’s license and the patient’s health because sterilizing young puppies may end in death for some or compromised health. I’m not sure how this works; if the law requires it, the veterinarian is trained and the patient is assessed before the procedure, it would be no different than you or I taking our little guy to the vet for the big snip-snip.

The lawsuit they bring accuses New York Council of giving preference to shelters and rescuers over pet shops and breeders. Though the new law requires pet shops to sterilize puppies before selling them, apparently rescuers face no such restrictions. I’m guessing this may be down to rescuers not having the same deep pockets of breeders and pet shops and a genuine desire by council to not discourage the good Samaritans who safeguard animals that are truly in need. “There is no doubt – NYPWA members will be immediately and irreparably harmed” once the laws take effect, the group says. Okay, now I get it!

Apparently Chicago adopted a similar law and has also been hit with a federal lawsuit. But it’s hard to make a case when there’s evidence to the contrary. There are cities that have adopted the ban on selling dogs and cats in pet stores, and yet they remain in business, without relying on the unethical practices of puppy mill owners.

We’ll keep you up to date on what the court rules in NYC.

[Source: Courthouse News Services]


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