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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Pet shop owners all over the city are fuming with frustration, after New York City passed a law requiring them to prematurely spay or neuter all puppies and kittens before they are sold to the general public.

According to new law pet shops are required to spay or neuter any dog or cat before it is sold if it is 8 weeks or older and weighs 2 pounds or more. The new law became effective on April 1.

“It’s inhumane and you can lose one of the puppies or a lot of the puppies. It should not be done,” said Michael Berger, pet store owner of Vanity Pups Boutique in Bayside. “They’re not even giving the customer the right [to spay or neuter their pets]. They’re taking customers’ rights away, which I believe is unconstitutional and against our civil rights to begin with.”

Berger has partnered with the New York Pet Welfare Association (NYPWA), a group comprised of pet shop owners, veterinarians, breeders, brokers, distributors and pet-related nonprofit associations from New York City.

“Irresponsible pet policies are bad for pets as well as people. Now it’s time to stand up and fight back. Please join the New York Pet Welfare Association to protect your rights as a pet industry business and your customers’ rights to purchase the puppies and other pets of their choice,” expressed NYPWA on their website.

Pet owners are equally upset about the newly mandated laws that force pets to get fixed very soon.

“I don’t like it. Well, my puppy’s 4 months old and she ain’t gettin’ neutered till she’s 7 months,” said one pet owner who chose to remain anonymous.

“I wouldn’t get my puppy neutered at 2 months old or 4 months old because I don’t think that’s right,” said dog owner Zenola Aves. “You’re still a baby, they can’t do anything. I mean, 2 months? They can barely walk right … so no, I would not do that. I would wait till it was older. Six months, 7 months, a year.”

A doctor at Central Veterinary Associates (CVA) in Bayside also explained the dangers of neutering or spaying a pet at an extremely early age, while providing commentary on the new law.

“I think the mayor should stick to staying with people and things that maybe he knows about, rather than veterinary medicine,” said Dr. John Charos, president and CEO of CVA. “The law is a crazy law. Ironically, it came out on April 1; it should be a joke.”

“There’s a lot of reasons you would never want to be spaying or neutering puppies or kittens at that age. One, it affects their growth … especially the smaller breeds or any dog when they’re that young and that small, the risk of anesthetic death is going to be much more increased,” Charos said.

QNS reached out to the NYC Health Department for comment and is awaiting a response.

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