Target: New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio
Goal: Ban the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens in pet stores in New York City.
Thanks to the New York City Council, December 2014 saw the ban of commercially bred rabbits at pet stores go into effect across the Big Apple, and the city mandated that puppies and kittens for sale come only from New York state licensed breeders. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the animals are treated humanely.
Though, unlike most states, New York has an enforcement agency that requires annual inspections, it does not go beyond the USDA standards for licensing in most other ways, which have been labelled as “extremely inadequate” by the ASPCA and “fall[ing] far short of ensuring the humane treatment” by the Humane Society of the United States. These are the two leading animal welfare agencies in the nation, and New York City, usually at the forefront of change for animal welfare, should be doing more.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge Mayor de Blasio to propose legislation to the city council to expand upon the December 2014 law and ban the sale of bred puppies and kittens at New York City pet stores.
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
Thanks to legislation passed in December of 2014, pet stores in New York City are required to give customers information about the breeders from which they get their pets, can only sell cats and dogs from licensed breeders, and cannot sell rabbits at all. That’s a fantastic step in the right direction, but it is not enough. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying “There’s no space in the shelter system right now for rabbits.” She was right. There is, additionally, no space for dogs or cats.
Until the standards for licensure by the state of New York are in line with standards of humane treatment of animals, the sale of these pets should not be permitted through retail establishments. According to the ASPCA, though New York regulations for licensing are better than the USDA’s “extremely inadequate” standards in some areas (namely, annual inspections and humane euthanasia) it does not improve upon the issues of cage space, exercise, flooring, or veterinary care, nor does it address the issue of stacking cages.
New York has always been a progressive city that stands at the forefront of correcting injustices, and it is currently falling behind. Los Angeles banned the pet store sale of commercially bred cats, dogs, and rabbits earlier this year, making it more difficult to support breeders and easier to adopt from a shelter. Mamaroneck, just one county over, recently did the same.
New York City and the Animal Care Centers of New York City have done amazing work toward improving the lives of animals at shelters and reducing overpopulation. But we can and should do better by our furry friends.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kitten by Saving Public Ryan