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Romaine to Push for Anti-Puppy Mills Law

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine will speak during a Suffolk County Legislature meeting next week in favor of a new "Anti-Puppy Mills" resolution, a proposed local law that would ban the retail sale of puppies in pet stores unless they are from an animal shelter or a Suffolk County breeder. 

“This legislation has been a long time in coming and I look forward to voicing my strong support in front of the County Legislature," said Romaine, who co-sponsored a similar resolution in 2011 as a then-legislator, but at the time state law blocked local governments from enacting their own pet dealer laws. "Recently, new state legislation sponsored by State Senator Ken LaValle was signed into law that has paved the way for Suffolk County to pass the new law. I encourage anyone who is concerned about puppy mills to attend the meeting and speak in support of this new legislation." 

The meeting will be held on March 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Maxine Postal Legislative Auditorium in the Evans K. Griffing Building, Riverhead County Center located at 300 Center Drive in Riverhead.

The current proposed law is sponsored by legislators Jay Schneiderman and William Spencer. 

The general requirements of the law state:

  • No animal shall be offered for sale, trade or give-away by a pet dealer or pet store unless the animal is at least 14 weeks old, is in good health and has been weaned from its mother. 
  • Any animal offered for sale, trade or give-away by a pet dealer or pet store shall have daily access to appropriate amounts of clean, fresh water and clean, fresh food. 
  • Any pet dealer or pet store offering animals for sale, trade or give-away shall provide to the consumer a copy of the most recent inspection report conducted by the USDA for the breeder and/or broker from which the subject animal came.

The law also outlines enclosure requirements including that it shall house only one animal at a time, be large enough for animal to lie, stretch, walk and engage in natural movements and contain a resting pad. Each enclosure must also be tagged with detailed information about the enclosed animal. Any pet dealer or pet store which violates any provision of this law shall be assessed a civil fine of $500 per violation.

Romaine urged anyone who is interested in a new dog or cat to visit the Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center. There are many adoptable pets and all adoption, spay and neuter fees have been waived until June 30. The shelter is located at 300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven. 

It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed Wednesdays), Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the Animal Shelter at 631-286-4940 or visit www.brookhaven.org/animalshelter.

Frank Esposito February 28, 2014 at 06:06 PM
For those who don't like to read long pieces or for those who hate me so much they can't read too much without puking.... Under this law the county shelters and "local only" breeders will be selling dogs. Do you think the shelters are or will be getting their dogs from educated county inspected breeders - responsible breeders who treated their dogs well? ;-) ;-) Head on over to Brookhaven Shelter and pick up a pitbull mix from Jose from Brentwood and his babies mother.... who had 2 pitbulls... a brother and sister pitbull mix by the way, who just had a litter of 6 because they were too ignorant to spay and neuter. See how that works out for you. Or Bob, from Miller Place who has a pitbull mix - one of Bob's sparring dogs for his 4 other pits over at Jose's basement, that oh, by the way that pit just had a few litters too. See my fellow readers, that is the biggest problem on long island; not some breeder milling and shipping in designer pups from Lancaster PA. The later can be stop by educating the consumer and not new laws. Jose, Bob and Jose's babies mother... well... no law is going to stop their unfortunate ignorance and lack of circumspection. I can't wait for this new law. It is really going to change everything for the better. But if not as usual we can just make another law or add more BS to this one. POWER TO THE PUPPIES! WE ARE COMING TO SAVE YOU! OUCH SORRY ABOUT THAT! We didn't expect that outcome... We had are heart in the right place... We really did.
Kristie M February 28, 2014 at 06:07 PM
Frank, to address a few of your issues, hopefully in a rational manner...first, as Archie said there are not a lot of puppy mills on LI, but every single pet store on LI (and the state) buys from puppy mills, often with multiple USDA violations. Your comparisons to loss of consumer choice has no merit here because of the abuse and neglect at puppy mills. We want small, hobby breeders to do well. These are the good people who care about their dogs, how they are treated and what home they go to. I have two shelter dogs, my cousin drove to CT to pick up a puppy from a home-based breeder there. It was a good breeder -- she did reference and vet checks and insisted on the entire family making two trips to CT to see the puppies. People also come from other places to buys dogs from our local breeders. This will never be criminalized. It is all about the treatment of the animals. High-volume breeders where one couple on farm have 100 breeding dogs and 72 puppies are not in it for the welfare of the animals or the joy of a puppy for a buyer. They move puppies like video games and damage out the bad ones in the exact same manner as inanimate products. The only reason shelters were brought up is because the first Christmas puppy winds up there before New Year's Eve. They are dumped at town and non-profit shelters. They are ignored at home, left in crates all day, offed to friends or relatives once the first pair of shoes is chewed up or people realize you have to train a puppy. There are unethical shelters. They will be addressed, too. Don't think anyone who harms animals for money is getting a pass just because of the label. Pet stores have even started their own fake rescues, which is merely discounted, unsold puppies. It is all shameful behavior and on the radar. Will this stop the flood of unwanted dogs? It will stem the tide. Pet store purchases are often impulsive and as I noted above, the dogs are dumped. Also, while all good shelters spay/neuter, pets store puppies are intact. This leads people to "try their hand at breeding." They wind up with unsold puppies that then go to rescues. Some dogs just get loose or are left to roam and wind up with unwanted litters. Online sales of puppies are also a problem and that is currently being addressed by the USDA. It's a start. The SDA does a terrible job of inspecting commercial breeders and it's 1966 livestock regulations allow for a lot of horror. That said, everything is in steps. At least there is finally some oversight. Again, it all goes back to animal welfare. There are plenty of real breeders, not just puppy factories. They will succeed financially and with the best chance of healthy puppies. There are too many unlicensed breeders who are afraid any regulations will sweep them up. This is not the case. The only breeding anyone would like to see stopped are pit bulls and chihauhas and that is only because we are killing them in droves in our shelters. That is just irresponsible breeding. There are plenty of other breeds to work with. I wrote a blog series on puppy mills for Huntington Patch in 2012. I rge anyone with questions about mills and the pet store puppy mill connection to read them. They are very well researched and I cited all my sources.
Frank Esposito February 28, 2014 at 07:43 PM
Here is an example of the type (not indicative of all, but) one of the many local county "breeders" you will be getting your Brookhaven shelter dog from. True story here... While walking down the street one day, we happen upon a beautiful brindle coat pit-bull mix. My friend and I are approached by dog (we are both very much dog lovers and are more than happy to accept its greeting) and it appears friendly and indeed it was. What does the owner do? He yanks it back by the lead and strikes it with back of lead. We give the owner a "u f'ing jerk look" and continue our walk. Let be honest here, if we called that in it would go nowhere and if we stuck around we would have either gotten into a "fight" with this guy and been arrested ourselves, or he would have left the scene. Either way something non-advantageous and non-productive for us was going to go down. These are the people who are currently and still will be raising the dogs and breeding their pups available at Brookhaven Animal Shelter. These are the fools that will not be effected by this wonderful new law being proposed. These fools and the people who buy dogs and suddenly realize they can't handle the responsibility of owning a pet and turn it into a shelter for a nice traumatic lifestyle change. Those groups are your top breeders for shelters. Now even Archie (commenter here at the Patch) himself, who is very up on all things "puppy mill" can't even locate one "puppy mill" on long island for us. I bet Archie can't even identify a "puppy mill" (you know the bad ones) outside of Suffolk county either ( huh oh no, he is going to call me a bad name again - I just know it, or maybe this time he will find some grammatical error and make fun of that next time because I know for sure his type nearly never reply with something grown from any eruditional sensibilities) . So again, is this law about preventing puppy mills or steering Suffolk dwellers into a narrower band of where you can buy your pets from to the advantage of some other groups. Notice Ed Romaine in this article "urged" (only urged) anyone who is interested in a new dog or cat to visit the Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center. Of cause the finial choice is yours and buyer beware right? I wonder how the town indemnifies itself from some of these ill breed dogs and possible law suit? Maybe they only adopt out "adoptable" pets? When you sign after coughing up the adoption "fee" do they have some convenient language in it that covers their butt? This useless - but passable because it tugs on the heart strings of the uneducated and misguided - law will pass and nothing will improve. Also get ready to cough up bigger money for local breeders as they know, unless you are willing to travel / deal with an out of county breeder they got you over a bit of a barrel. "Hey you can buy a slightly over priced mini-pincher form me or go and spend more in travel / transport, etc." "It's up to you dear prospective customer" ;-) The big pushers of this law are guys like Romaine and their troubled county shelters (because of troubled people living in Brookhaven putting great strain on town resources) and I bet you the Long Island breeders association and /or some grouping of fellowship minded folks. And remember by their very function, there is no place less in control of their "breeding" than a county shelter. But of cause this law will go a long way to stopping bad breeders rights? And be sure to head on down to the Brookhaven shelter at Eddie's "urging", as they only select from the best breeders of the bunch and will continue to do so after this law. My God, you people not seeing through the emotional BS fog selling this law to the public are really getting duped. And then to attack me as a "douche bag" and "idiot"? What?! Holy cow, some of you people are really dysfunctional! No offense to cow breeders... sorry there guys.
Frank Esposito February 28, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Archie, I just re-read my last 3 postings... have at it brother.... there are many grammatical errors. So now you can call me a douche bag and an idiot and also make fun of my writing. Oh, I almost forgot.... I also walk with a gimp and have one ear lobe noticeably bent and bigger than the other... just to let you know, in case you want to make fun of that too. Enjoy yourself at my expense brother. I'm more than happy to help you out there. Hopefully that will give you the makings for a great weekend ahead. Happy to help ya out!
Patchogue Snoop March 09, 2014 at 10:00 AM
WOW! As the highway department sinks in a cesspool of drug dealing, corruption, endless OT, no show jobs, collapsing buildings Big Ed the HACK sets his priorities......dogs first...taxpayer a distant second. This hack is just an example of what earned us the name "CROOKHAVEN" he is in it up to his eyeballs!!

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