Puppies will remain on the market in Suffolk County, as a proposed bill to ban puppy sales was abandoned by supporters last week. The proposal was intended to crack down on puppy mills, in which millions of dogs are often bred in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.
The bill was pulled by Leg. Jon Cooper, D-Lloyd Harbor, despite his previous support for the ban, because the legislation would have violated state laws concerning illegal restraint of trade.
The sudden failure of the puppy sale ban was met with disappointment at local shelters.
"We were in full support of the bill. It's a shame it didn't go through, I don't know who would have put that law in place." said Pamela Green, executive director of Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton.
Green said puppy mills are dangerous and deadly environments that should be avoided.
"We have proof that 100,000 puppies are shipped into the state from these puppy mills every year. People could adopt a dog from here for much less."
Green conceded that some breeders are responsible and make sure the dogs they raise are to be given good homes before they are sold. For Green, the problem lies in the pet shops that are in business for the profit alone.
"There are middle men that buy the puppies in bulk from these breeding operations and then sell them at prices way higher than what they paid." Green continued.
However, a local pet shop manager denied such allegations and called the failed bill "a joke."
"It infringed upon state law," said a manager at The Puppy Experience pet shop in Aquabogue, who wished to remain anonymous. "I was never worried about it."