UPDATE (December 15, 2022):
Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to end the puppy mill pipeline. According to a press release from the Governor’s office, the legislation (S.1130/A.4283) bans the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail pet stores. It takes effect in 2024 and will allow pet stores to charge shelters rent to use their space for adoptions. In the release Governor Hochul said, “Dogs, cats and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment. I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state.”

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Cyndee DiBernado is an animal lover and advocate. Her French Bulldog, Lilo, is just one of the dogs she has cared for that was previously used for breeding in a puppy mill.

They all had some challenges.

“Like her, the ear infections, the teeth,” DiBernardo said. “One recently had a gastro issue, UTI, some are blind. The bulldog I had, her eyes were completely closed because they were so crusted over.”

It’s not just physical issues.

“Our first mill dog, she was really scared, she wouldn’t walk on a leash. She didn’t know anything, they live like basically in cages,” DiBernardo explained.

To address these issues, DiBernardo joins other advocates hoping Governor Hochul signs the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law. It would stop certain live animals from being sold in pet stores.

“A dog or cat or a rabbit,” explained Stefanie Heath, a board member for Cuse Pit Crew. “And the reason for that is because we know that these originate from extremely horrendous and abhorrent conditions, prior to being purchased by that pet dealer.”

The goal for these advocates is the lessen or stop the demand from these mills. Heath says some people have expressed concern this law could force pet stores to close.

“There are models that pet stores can use to sell other types of products, food, you name it,” Heath said.

They hope Governor Hochul agrees and will sign this bill into law.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to Governor Hochul’s press office about the law. We are told she is reviewing the legislation.

Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter shared her thoughts on the bill in this statement:
“We have long known the health and behavioral issues that often develop in pets sourced from puppy mills. The bill before Governor Hochul would prevent animal cruelty and encourage the adoption of pets that are currently in need of a home that can be housed at a fraction of the cost. I am hopeful that the Governor will sign the bill based on the demonstrated history of animal cruelty that has been documented with puppy mill breeders. If the bill is not signed, my colleagues and I will certainly review the veto message and work through concerns to bring this bill back to the Governor’s desk in the upcoming legislative session.”