Hochul signs Queens lawmaker’s bill to ‘strengthen the standards of care’ at animals shelters in New York

State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

In an effort to better protect pets held in animal shelters, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Queens Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.’s bill that will strengthen the care for shelters.

According to Addabbo, the new law will provide comprehensive standards of care for municipal shelters, nonprofit humane societies and nonprofit animal shelters.

“With the signing of this bill into law, we are looking to strengthen the standards of care at all shelters across the state while also eliminating unenforceable laws to have a comprehensive set of laws that all shelters will have to adhere to,” Addabbo said. “The animals in these shelters have already had a difficult life, and they deserve the highest care and conditions as they await to be adopted to their new homes. I want to thank the Hochul administration for signing my bill and for protecting these animals.”

The law will prohibit retail pet shops from selling dogs, cats and rabbits to puppy mills and instead offer these animals up for adoption.

Addabbo, a co-sponsor of the legislation, said that animals living in puppy mills face poor treatment.

“Large-scale puppy mills often mistreat the animals they are responsible for and force them to live in deplorable conditions where they face cruelty and abuse,” he said. “Instead of selling pets, retail shops can charge animal shelters or rescue organizations rent to use their retail space for the adoption of these pets.”

While the new law doesn’t go into effect in 2024, Addabbo says that it is vital that they monitor how this law is implemented.

“We want to make sure that no animals are subject to the deplorable conditions of puppy mills that maximize their profits at the expense of the well-being of these animals,” Addabbo said. “But we also want to protect local credible pet shops and keep them in business. If these pet shops are doing the right thing and partnering with rescues and not the puppy mills, they have nothing to worry about. We will monitor the situation once the law goes into effect in 2024.”