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Suffolk Notebook: Cooper Pulls Puppy Mill Bill, Guldi Pleads Guilty

Former Suffolk legislator receives concurrent sentences; alleged serial bank robber arrested on Friday.

After a that consisted of nearly three hours of comments both for and against the proposal, Leg. Jon Cooper, D-Llyod Harbor, pulled a bill on July 28 that would've banned the retail sale of puppies in Suffolk County.

The bill would have preempted state law, which, according to Article 35D of the New York State General Business Law, "supersede(s) any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance regulating or licensing pet dealers."

Concerns about the legality of Cooper's original bill were raised at the June public hearing.

"This proposal appears to be an illegal restraint of trade," said Joan Bernstein, a cat breeder from Moriches. "It may interfere with interstate trade and violate state law – which makes the regulation of the sale of dogs and cats a matter of state law. This specifically preempts local laws such as this proposal, which brings up the issue of Suffolk County being sued."

Instead, Cooper will propose enacting a rating system for pet stores and the dog breeders that supply them. The rating system would be voluntary rather than mandatory — otherwise it would violate state law — and be similar to the one-to-five star systems restaurants use.

“What I really like about the new idea is that it’s not going to put anyone out of business, and it’s not going to cost the taxpayers money,” Cooper said. “It'll be a way to steer business to pet stores that are reputable, and steer consumers away from those that aren't.”

Former Suffolk Legislator, George Guldi, Pleads Guilty

Former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi, of Westhampton Beach, to 34 charges of grand larceny and one charge of scheme to defraud.

After to four to 12 years in prison for insurance fraud and grand larceny, Guldi pleaded on July 29 to take a lighter sentence of one to three years. The latest charges will run concurrently with his existing sentence, meaning they won't be added on to one another.

District Attorney Thomas Spota was hoping for a stricter sentence – eight and one-third to 25 years on top of his current sentence – for Guldi, who was involved in a  that involved nearly 60 Southampton homes and commercial properties.

"Over our objection the judge has promised the defendant a sentence that's completely inadequate to punish him and deter the massive mortgage fraud that's so severely impacted our local economy," Spota said.

Serial Bank Robbing Suspect Arrested

Suffolk Police announced on the arrest of a Queens man who they believe to be responsible for half a dozen bank robberies spanning from Suffolk County to upstate New York.

Michael Walsh, 58, was apprehended just three days after police believe he pulled his latest heist .

“We did recover cash, a weapon and a police scanner,'' said Detective Lieutenant Gerard Pelkofsky, who heads the Suffolk Major Case Unit. "He was prepared. He knew what he was doing. He went in with the express reason of robbing a bank.” 

A rundown of the banks Walsh is alleged to have robbed:

  • May 14: Marathon Bank, 1577 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset.
  • June 25: Marathon Bank, 1577 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset.
  • June 30: , 563 Larkfield Road, East Northport.
  • July 6:   
  • July 22: People’s United Bank, 401 Glen Cove Road, East Hills.
  • July 26: Chase Bank, 721 Fort Salonga Road, Northport. 
Dr. Sarah Alward July 31, 2011 at 03:58 AM
What a sad day for the dogs forced to suffer in mills in our country. NY State needs to make some changes. Any person breeding cats needs a reality check - hundreds of cats are being euthanized in shelters in our own county daily for no other reason than being unwanted.
justbreath July 31, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Disgusting! So many need help. NICE JOB!! Guess it's the " I'm privileged, not spoiled" mentality. I want a pretty dog, "ok, since I don't spend time with you child, you can have anything you want, just to get you away from me." kids suck, buying an amazing dog is so much easier. thank you puppy mills!
Amy Waldhauer July 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM
I volunteer with Last Hope, a rescue group. We recently placed a beautiful Persian cat. Rescues are not all mutts and alley cats. I agree with Dr. Alward. Unless you are planning to breed your animal, I suggest going to a shelter and finding a pet.
Peconic Sunset July 31, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Let's encourage our state legislators to review Jon Cooper's bill and implement this at the state level.
Shari July 31, 2011 at 03:47 PM
The awareness that animals are not 'things', but, living beings that deserve a life full of love, happiness & respect. People need to be educated about how simple the solution could be! Responsible breeding, & spay/neuter! Every animal could & should have a happy home.
Talk Ischeap July 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM
I have to agree with Shari on this one.
Theliberalconservative July 31, 2011 at 05:16 PM
a little off the subject...but a police matter..I noticed the police are giving parking tickets to patrons of the “Shack” in Centerport who park long 25A. It’s the first time I have seen them do that and I find it disappointing, I don’t eat there but as a Huntington resident I think the “Shack” brings something special to the area and is a bit of a land mark for tourist and people passing through our area. I find it un-neighborly and a little petty considering it hasn’t been an issue for years. My two cents…..
Tom July 31, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Of course because you think that someone should get a cat from a shelter and not a purebred of their choice then thats what they should take and like it. They have countries that prescribe to this kind of thinking,there a little east of here ,maybe you should try one of them, the income for a vet in Beijing is 250-300 dollars a month,wont pay for that new Mercedes,but not much of a stray dog problem either. Breakfast on a cold morning , a former citizen!!!
Lorry Schlick July 31, 2011 at 07:23 PM
I think the nuts are the ones who thinks it's perfectly OK to have dogs kept in intolerably inhumane conditions and receive no vet care when they are ill or are suffering. How on earth does your "tree hugger" moniker have anything to do AT ALL with what we're asking for-- the minimum of compassion to Man's Best Friend, esp since YOU are a breeder. I thought we were "above" the animals? Allowing pain & suffering to go on to dogs is insanity. It's the miller well-kept dirty little secret. You can't see the mills, you can't get the truth at pet stores....if it's so OK with you, why is it all so covert? Puppies would never be sold out of pet stores IF the consumers knew the truth. If they would only do a little homework and Google "puppy mills", they would walk out. Don't forget, an educated consumer is the BEST customer and these shoppers are uneducated thanks to you and the USDA.
DLee August 01, 2011 at 01:41 PM
To each his own, but I'm a big fan of adoptions and rescues. I've had a dozen or so pets in my lifetime and all of them were shelter pets.
Tom August 01, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Lorry I am a breedeer and a big one in fact and my vet would tell you that not only are my dogs well cared for,but my abilities in vet care are as good or better than some vets and my degree is only in animal science. Its all about the veracity of the indivual breeder not lumping all together. Think, dogs not properly cared for donot produce well and thats what we are interested in correct and that goes for all animal agriculture,correct?Try this tactic in your liberal blind to the facts world ie all muslims are terrorists,all blacks are crimminals and drug addicts on welfare,all homosexuals are pedophiles,all jews are crooks etc,etc you would be run out of town on a rail,fired from your job and your houise would be foreclosed on. Also least to mention I find the word PM PMiller offensive,what for god sake is different for you people to sling these words around so carelessly as for someone to say the N word The K for jews, the Sp word for latinos, the F word for gays, it is exactly the same remember that. A breeder and darn proud,despite a few peoples negative additudes
Andrea August 01, 2011 at 05:49 PM
You're right in the first part - there are so many animals that needed to be adopted and care for. But the rest of this diatribe is just pure drivel. There are plenty of responsible dog owners that take very good care of their bought dogs and purchase them for all the right reasons. At the end of the day, it is the individual/ family's right to go out and get whichever animal is right for them. Even if legislation is passed to curb the production of puppy mills (which I support), it won't eliminate responsible breeding or the ability to buy a purebred pup if someone desired to do so. This legislation is not intended to eliminate the sale of all puppies in general.
Tom Gillen August 01, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Informing people and education is key. If people knew where that "doggie in the window" came from, or how he/she was treated, they would possibly think twice about purchasing from a pet store. Conversely, if people were educated about rescues/adoption it would certainly help things. There is a stigma out there that rescue dogs are somehow tainted or subpar.
Tom Gillen August 01, 2011 at 08:56 PM
and don't get me wrong, I'm not going to tell anyone that they shouldn't buy from a respectable, responsible breeder. Heck, my current dog came from a reputable breeder out east. But if you are going to 'buy', do your homework. The last thing you want is to buy a puppy from a store where the dog's health is questionable, and dispostion is questionable. Not to mention you may be supporting a puppy mill in the process. It's all about $ (like everything) - people see a $1,500 purebred from a breeder and a $600 dog from a puppy store.....hmmmm.....could it be too good to be true?
Lorry Schlick August 02, 2011 at 05:38 AM
I won't continue to have long drawn out conversations about breeders vs puppy millers. This bill was soley for commercial kennel breeders who require USDA licenses. It matters not who you are or what you do, this bill was about cruelty to canines in mass breeding facilites. No one can be against that. Nuff said...
Nancy Major August 02, 2011 at 07:16 AM
I have to agree with Tom do your home work you might be surprised at where the most harm to dogs and cats is done
Tom August 02, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Lorry like all liberals when you are wrong your answer, nuff said! Short and sweet enough for you?
Troy Gunther October 27, 2011 at 04:04 PM
i agree

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