Lawmakers look to adopt rules governing pet sellers
A public hearing is scheduled on a proposed law requiring pet sellers to check the animal abuse registry before animals are sold.
KINGSTON >> Ulster County lawmakers expect to set a Dec. 13 public hearing on a proposed law requiring pet sellers to the check animal abuse registry before animals are sold.
The regulations are scheduled to be on the county Legislature agenda during a meeting at 7 p.m. in the county office building at 244 Fair Street.
“It’s part of a two-part local law from last year,” said county Chairman Ken Ronk, R-Wallkill.
“Part 1 was an animal abuse registry,” he said. “If you’re convicted of an animal abuse crime you go on this registry for 15 years and you can’t buy a (cat or) dog. The operational part of it was this pet dealer licensing law, which would prohibit the pet dealers who have a license from selling a dog to somebody on the registry.
“So they would have to check the registry before they sold the animal.”
Businesses included in the law are stores or breeders that sell nine or more dogs or cats per calendar year or breed three or more litters of dogs or cats.
Under the law if a pet seller “determines that an individual is a registered animal abuser the pet seller shall not sell, exchange or otherwise transfer ownership of a dog or cat to such individual.”
The law also addresses the minimum standards of care for animals being kept by pet sellers, with conditions addressed for both indoor and outdoor facilities.
“They shall be designed to allow for efficient elimination of waste and water in order to keep the animal dry and prevent it from coming into contact with these substances, except water for drinking purposes,” officials wrote.
“If drains are used they shall be constructed in a manner to minimize foul odors and backup of sewage.”
Ronk said most of the regulations are based on state regulations.
“The New York state Legislature passed a law allowing counties to do a home rule like this and then be able to regulate pet sellers locally,” he said. “One of the issues that we’ve had with the regulations of pet sellers at the state level is a lack of proper inspections being done by the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
“I think it’s a lack of personnel and that’s one of the reasons the state Legislature authorized counties to do this.”
Ronk said county lawmakers have been working to develop regulations that satisfies people who have complained that previous versions of the law did not address concerns of animal advocate or pet sellers.
“We finally have a product that the hobby breeders, the ones who come out against the law, can be happy with and the animal rights activists can be happy with,” he said. “We think it’s really going to protect the animals that are being bred in these facilities.”