Hear­ing on pro­posed pet breeder law slated

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­tri­cia Doxsey pdoxsey@free­manon­line.com pat­ti­at­free­man on Twit­ter

Ul­ster County law­mak­ers will once again hear from the pub­lic on a pro­posed lo­cal law that would re­quire pet breed­ers to reg­is­ter with the county, more than a year af­ter the pro­posal drew an out­cry of op­po­si­tion from hobby dog breed­ers across the county.

The Ul­ster County Leg­is­la­ture voted 21-1 Tues­day to set a pub­lic hear­ing on the pro­posal for 6:05 p.m. on Dec. 13.

Leg­is­la­tor Ron­ald Lapp, R-Ac­cord, cast the lone dis­sent­ing vote. Leg­is­la­tor TJ Briggs, D-El­lenville was ab­sent from Tues­day’s meet­ing. The mea­sure is de­signed to keep puppy mills out of the county. When it was first pro­posed, how­ever, many of the county’s dog breed­ers said the law would drive them out of busi­ness and do the an­i­mals more harm than good.

Orig­i­nally, the law would have re­quired any per­son who sold more than nine dogs or cats per year or more than one lit­ter per year to ob­tain a no-cost per­mit from the county De­part­ment of Health, agree to min­i­mum stan­dards of care as out­lined in the law and al­low for rou­tine in­spec­tions of their fa­cil­ity. The law also would re­quire breed­ers to check the an­i­mal abuse registry to en­sure a po­ten­tial buyer isn’t listed.

Fol­low­ing the out­cry by breed­ers, law­mak­ers re­worked the mea­sure to cre­ate a cat­e­gory of breed­ers known as “res­i­den­tial breed­ers,” who breed an­i­mals live in the home as op­posed to ken­nels and who sell less fewer 15 dogs or cats per year. Those breed­ers would still have to ob­tain a per­mit and com­ply with min­i­mum stan­dards of care, but hey would not be sub­ject to in­spec­tion by the county. Res­i­den­tial breed­ers who sell more than 15 an­i­mals a year would be sub­ject to in­spec­tion only if a com­plaint against them is raised.

As with the orig­i­nal pro­posal, the re­vised law would re­quire breed­ers to check the county’s an­i­mal abuse registry be­fore selling a pet to a prospec­tive buyer.

Ul­ster County Leg­is­la­ture Chair­man Ken Ronk said the new pro­posed law is “a great com­pro­mise” that “ev­ery­one can live with (and) that’s go­ing to pro­tect some an­i­mals in Ul­ster County and pro­tect the con­sumers who pur­chase an­i­mals in Ul­ster County.”

Ronk, R-Wal­lkill, said the new pro­posal also calls for the in­spec­tor to be a county em­ployee, rather than an out­side ven­dor.

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