Local Law Addresses “Puppy Mill” Concerns And Provides Significant Consumer Protections
KINGSTON – Joined by animal rights advocates, members of his Animal Abuse Prevention Advisory Task Force, a local pet breeder, and County Legislators from both sides of the aisle, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein signed Local Law No. 14 of 2016 into law Wednesday morning, establishing a minimum standard of care for pet sellers in Ulster County and prohibiting the sale of pets to individuals listed on the county’s Animal Abuse Registry.
The Pet Sellers Laws builds upon the County Executive’s comprehensive animal and pet protection initiatives, including the popular county-wide dog park in New Paltz, passage of the County’s anti-tethering law, the domestic violence prevention safe pet boarding program, a humane feral cat program, and the Ulster County Animal Abuse Registry.
“Animal abuse and neglect is unconscionable, and we as a compassionate community have an obligation to stand up for those than cannot defend themselves,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “This common-sense law is an important step forward for our community by helping to combat animal abuse, preventing the proliferation of ‘puppy mills,’ and providing meaningful consumer protections; it is my hope that this will serve as a model for other communities throughout our state. I want to thank the members of my Animal Abuse Prevention Task Force for their dedicated work to help shield animals from abuse and take critical steps to make our community a better place for everyone. I also want to thank our partners in the legislature for working in a bipartisan manner to not only protect our pets, but to provide these meaningful consumer protections as well.”
“The humanity of a society is defined by how we treat our companion animals – the defenseless pets that many residents depend on for comfort and protection and that rely on us for their safety and security. This law is a product of much hard work, debate and compromise,” Said Ken Ronk, Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature. “I wish to thank County Executive Hein, the animal advocates and the small group of hobby breeders who all put aside their differences and worked together toward this common goal. We can all be proud that this law will protect many animals from future neglect and abuse.”
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds County Executive Mike Hein for signing the Pet Sellers Law,” said Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Through his commitment and the dedicated work of Legislature Chairman Ken Ronk, Ulster County now has an effective law that creates much better standards for dogs and cats that are bred locally as pets.”
“The task Force worked diligently in developing and fine-tuning the parameters for this law to prevent systematic animal abuse and encourage responsible and safe pet sales,” said Dr. Beth Alden, veterinarian and chair of the County Executive’s Animal Abuse Prevention Advisory Task Force. “I commend the County Executive for his leadership and his commitment to comprehensive animal protection in Ulster County.”
The Pet Sellers Law applies to anyone who sells more than 9 dogs or cats per year or more than two litters per calendar year. Pet sellers are required to obtain a free permit from the Ulster County Department of Health. The law imposes a minimum standard of care for the animals including food, shelter, sanitation, exercise and veterinary care as well as consumer protections for buyers to guard against the sale of unfit animals. Violations of the law result in fines of $150 – $1,000.