New York Moves to Ban Animal Sales in Pet Stores

By Meredith Ayan, Executive Director

Here at SPCA International, we are thrilled that the New York State Senate has approved a bill to prohibit the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in pet stores. The bill still needs to pass the Assembly and be approved by the Governor, but it is now well on its way. You can follow the bill on the state senate’s website and if you are a New York resident, it always helps to make your voice heard.

If approved, this legislation will ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores with a goal of increasing adoption rates and reducing the demand for animals bred in puppy mills and similar situations. As someone who adopted a momma dog from a shelter after her pups all found homes, I am thrilled with the prospect of this change.

Pet stores will still be able to offer animals for adoption which will help match animals with families and greatly reduce the demand for animals bred in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Because most pet stores earn the majority of their revenue from the sale of supplies, the legislation is expected to have minimal financial impact on pet stores. 

I am so heartened that my home state is taking this step to increase adoptions. My sincerest hope is that animals bred for pet store windows will become a thing of the past. We know that animals adopted through a thoughtful and purposeful process are more likely to stay in loving homes than animals bought without thorough consideration.

With this legislation, New York would join Maryland, California and hundreds of U.S. cities with similar legislation already in place. I am hopeful that more states and cities will follow and help further support a culture of animal adoption in the United States.