MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
A.6298 (Rosenthal)/S.4234 (Gianaris)
As a part of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) joins over 50 shelters and animal welfare organizations in New York State calling for the end to the retail sale of dogs, cats and kittens statewide. While not prohibiting the purchase of puppies and kittens from hobby breeders licensed in New York State, A.6298/S.4234 would prevent the importation of animals bred commercially out of state by wholesalers.
Since its founding 1974, ARF has adopted over 26,000 homeless cats and dogs to loving families in New York State. More than 1,000 have come from puppy mills, from which they were essentially discarded when they no longer were profitable as breeding animals. Without question these dogs have suffered a level of neglect and abuse that we would not condone here in our own community.
Every puppy mill survivor adopted from ARF is a living protest against the cruelty and injustice of the retail pet trade whose practices are deliberately kept from the public. Their adopted families themselves become our strongest advocates for rescue and adoption, knowing firsthand the damage caused by the inhumane practices that support the retail trade in pets. Breeding female dogs every time they are in heat; keeping dogs in wire-bottomed cages, which are barely wide enough from them to turn around, until their feet grow deformed; denying medical care to sick and injured animals; misleading the public to believe that a USDA-licensed breeder is a gold-standard of care, when in fact its guidelines provide the bare-minimum of protections for animals and are routinely ignored and sporadically enforced; breeding congenital defects into successive generations of animals to be sold in pet stores for the sake of profits: these are the injustices hiding in factory farms of puppies, kittens, and rabbits hundreds of miles away from the animals seen in the windows of New York’s pet stores.
Hundreds of thousands of adoptable animals die needlessly in municipal shelters across the country each year. A.6298/S.4234 would allow non-profit New York State licensed rescues such as ARF to adopt these animals into loving homes through commercial pet stores, with the adoption fees going directly to the rescue organization, preventing unscrupulous pet stores from circumventing these new protections by falsely claiming their animals are rescues.
ARF supports A.6298/S.4234 because it directly addresses a root cause of animal neglect and cruelty, to which our community cannot turn its back and our mission compels us to confront.