Proposed Ordinances Place Stringent Regulations on Pet Shops in the City, Prevent the use of Dog Brokers and Limit Sourcing from Known Puppy Mills
December 5, 2014
Who: Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
What: The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) wholeheartedly supports proposed New York City Int. Nos. 55, 73, 136 and 146.
New York, N.Y. – The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) wholeheartedly supports proposed New York City Int. Nos. 55, 73, 136 and 146. Founded in 1992, CAPS is the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills. CAPS is working towards a world free from inhumane breeding and sales practices and is changing the way consumers, prosecutors, government agencies, media, and the general public view the cruel pet shop/puppy mill industry.
CAPS General Counsel John Maher testified at the April 3 hearing, and CAPS President testified at the November 24 hearing. CAPS presented compelling evidence on brokers and breeders who sell to New York City pet shops. This evidence included a comprehensive spreadsheet which demonstrated that almost all NYC retail pet shops purchase puppies from commercial breeding facilities with USDA violations.
CAPS is especially pleased with Int. 55, which will prohibit pet stores in New York City from purchasing puppies from middlemen, often referred to as “brokers.” With dog brokers, there is limited accountability. This is contrary to the public policy intent of Int. 55. Brokers often never see the breeding facilities from which they purchase puppies and kittens. Large-scale brokers, such as The Hunte Corporation in Goodman, Missouri, often use booking agents who pick up puppies from numerous breeders and then transport them to the Hunte facility. Some breeders bring their animals and those from other breeding facilities in their area directly to brokers. The use of a broker results in the concealment of records concerning origin, health, and USDA violations of the breeder. Certificates of Veterinary Inspections (CVIs), which are interstate health certificates that a broker’s veterinarian must file in the states of origin and destination, show only the broker’s name as the consignor. There is no way of knowing the breeder sources for the puppies and kittens listed on this federal document. In addition, brokers sometimes buy animals from unlicensed breeders who are allegedly exempt from USDA licensing. Therefore, there are no USDA inspection reports to verify the conditions at these facilities. All of these elements essentially defraud the consumer by hiding the often cruel suffering inherent in the commercial breeding of puppies and kittens as commodities.
Int. 55 will allow more responsible breeders without violations to operate and will not shut down industries or take away jobs, especially in New York City. The only ones who have to worry are irresponsible or inhumane breeders and the profiteering brokers who enable them.
CAPS has extensive knowledge of the workings of dog brokers from 25 years of monitoring and investigating some of the largest dog brokers in the country, including a six-month undercover employment investigation of the Hunte Corporation, the largest brokerage facility in the country. Below are links to CAPS documentaries about our investigation of The Hunte Corporation and breeders who sold to Hunte:
Through a six-week undercover employment investigation, CAPS was responsible for bringing down New York Mills, Minnesota-based Pick of the Litter, which was owned by Kathy Bauck, one of the largest and most notorious dog brokers in the country. After USDA terminated Bauck’s license based on her cruelty conviction, Bauck continued to sell to pet shops on Long Island and in New York City, even using a fictitious store in Chinatown to conceal the true identity of a store in Queens. CAPS conducted investigations of her illegal sales to these stores and presented this evidence to USDA, which permanently revoked her license and banned her family members from applying for licenses.
CAPS vs Bauck, How a Small Nonprofit Brought Down a Large Puppy Mill
CAPS thanks the City Council, the sponsoring council members and the council legislative staff for their hard work and dedication and for recognizing that a retail pet shop ordinance is necessary for New York City. CAPS supports the policy initiatives behind the proposed ordinances and the ordinances as drafted.
Companion Animal Protection Society
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
Founded by President Deborah Howard in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills. CAPS actively addresses the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance, and pet industry employee relations.
Please visit www.caps-web.org