Ordinance Number 55-A
December 17, 2014 The New York City ordinance that strictly regulates pet shops passed on December 17, 2014. CAPS President Deborah Howard testified in support of the bill on November 24, 2014. CAPS assisted the city with draft language and played a vital role in providing evidence that retail pet stores in New York City sell puppies sourced from puppy mills with USDA violations. CAPS General Counsel John Maher testified on behalf of the ordinance in April, 2014.  Ordinance 55 will place tougher restrictions on New York City pet shops; related ordinances address spay/neuter and microchipping of pet shop animals.

Key Changes:
•    All pet shops have to obtain an operating permit issued by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The stores could face a $500 fine for selling animals prohibited pursuant to this bill.

•    Pet shops cannot use USDA-licensed brokers and will be required to get their dogs and cats directly from USDA-licensed breeders.

•    The ordinance prohibits the sale of dogs and cats obtained from USDA-licensed breeders if their publically available USDA inspection reports indicate any of the following: 1) one or more direct non-compliant items during the past three years; 2) on either of the two most recent inspection reports, a citation for failing to provide USDA inspectors access to property or records; 3) on the most recent inspection report, three or more non-compliant items, other than a citation for failure to provide USDA inspectors access to property or records; or 4) one or more repeat non-compliant items on the most recent inspection report.

•    Pet shops must provide customers and potential customers all pertinent information, including medical history and the breeder’s USDA inspection reports, about the dogs and cats for sale.

•    The ordinance requires stricter standards of care and detailed recordkeeping of animals’ conditions.

The New York Pet Welfare Association, a hastily formed group of breeders, brokers and pet shops, sued New York City over the ordinance in early June 2015 (read more).

On October 30, Judge John Gleeson dismissed the New York Pet Welfare Association’s legal attack on the New York City pet ordinances in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Despite the relentless smear campaign mounted by the pet industry and the NYPWA against everyone involved in enacting the ordinances, including CAPS, the New York City pet shop ordinances can now be enacted.

Related Items
Deborah Howard video or testimony
NYPWA Complaint
CAPS’ Amicus Brief
CAPS’ Reply to NYPWA’s Opposition to Amicus Curiae

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