Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill to combat so-called puppy mills by requiring tougher standards of care by pet dealers, according to a news release Monday by the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Greg Ball.
Ball (R, C-Patterson) said the legislation — known as Charlemagne‘s Law after a puppy mill-bred Long Island dog that died in 2007 after a life filled with health problems — will improve the health and quality of life of animals.
“This is a great day, and showcases what can get done when you reach across the aisle,” Ball said in the news release. “This is the first step in what is sure to be a long journey against inhumane practices, but it is a solid first step to protect our four-legged friends. It is horrifying to think that dogs and cats are being raised in such inhumane conditions, stacked atop one another drenched in feces and urine with no room to exercise. … I’ve had friends and constituents whose families have suffered through extreme emotional and financial damage, while the immoral businesses that abuse these animals make high profits. It is my belief that government should stay out of the way of small business, but when it comes to harming animals or families, it’s time to intervene.”
According to the news release, the law requires that any licensed pet dealer must:
• Designate an attending veterinarian to care for the animals at the facility who will be available, if needed, for emergency, weekend and holiday care.
• Comply with a written program of veterinarian care provided by the attending veterinarian.
• Allow regular visits by the attending veterinarian.
• Provide appropriate facilities, personnel, equipment and services for the animals, to implement the plan developed by the attending veterinarian.
• Develop a program to prevent, control and respond to diseases and injuries.
• Designate an employee, trained by the attending veterinarian, to provide daily observation of all animals to assess their health and well-being.
• Develop, maintain, document and implement an appropriate daily exercise plan approved by the attending veterinarian. The plan will include providing positive physical contact with humans that encourages exercise through play and other similar activities.
• Designate and provide an isolation area for animals that exhibit symptoms of contagious disease or illness in order to prevent or reduce the spread of disease to healthy animals.
• Vaccinate all animals as required by the state or local law.
• Not sell any animal that has developed a congenital condition or contagious disease.