AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Ball Pushes to Regulate Puppy Mills

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Ball addressed the proposed legislation at a "puppy mill protest" held Saturday in Somers.

State Senator Greg Ball (R-Patterson) has enlisted the support of his Animal Advisory Council, concerned constituents, the Westchester County SPCA, and their furry friends to address the issue of puppy mills in New York.

“Many people throughout New York State have been affected by puppy mills,” Ball said. “I’ve had constituents whose families have suffered through extreme emotional and fiscal costs, while the businesses that kill these animals make high profits. It is my belief that government should stay out of the way of small businesses, but when it is harming animals and families, it’s time to intervene.”

Ball said the mills are unfair to dogs and owners.

“Puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor conditions, solely for the purpose of breeding. After their fertility wanes, these animals are often killed, abandoned or sold cheaply to another mill,” he said. “The result of all this breeding is millions of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems. Puppy Mills continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who see these poor animals in pet store windows and on legitimate-seeming websites.”

Senator Ball hosted the Puppy Mill Protest on Saturday in Somers to gather support for his bill S7268, legislation that he said will improve the health and quality of life of animals by providing duly licensed pet dealers with updated standards of care.

This legislation will provide 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. This 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 health animals;
·       Vaccinate as required by the state or local law all animals;
·       Not sell any animal that has been diagnosed with a congenital condition or contagious disease.

“Our mission is to protect the puppies, kittens and consumers from the unscrupulous breeders and pet stores,” said Lorriane Pagano, a supporter of the bill Ball has dubbed “Charlemagne’s Law.” “These stores and breeders are knowingly selling sick animals in turn people are being forced to euthanize their pets or turn them over to a shelter because they cannot afford the outrageous vet bills associated with their sick pets.”

S7268 passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee last week and Ball is advocating for the bill to be passed at the second annual Animal Advocacy day, which he is sponsoring on June 13 in Albany. The legislation is being sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin in the State Assembly.

“The SPCA has witnessed first-hand the abuse and misery that comes from unscrupulous breeders who subject helpless animals to atrocious living conditions, lack of veterinary care, and merciless breeding for the sake of profit,” said SPCA of Westchester Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf. “This bill will assist all of us who believe that companion animals should be protected and treated with the respect and love they deserve.”

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