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OCTOBER, 2009 PAGE 1

Dog Federation of New York


Albany: Ag & Mkts hosts “Pet Dealer
Focus Group” meetings
On Wednesday, Oct. 21 the first in a projected series of
meetings took place in Albany under the auspices of the
NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. DFNY was
invited to attend, and following are highlights of the 2
hour meeting.

Also present were representatives from NY Houndsmen,


Assoc. Dog Clubs of NY, ASPCA, NYS Humane Assoc.,
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, PIJAC, NY Farm
Bureau, NY Masters of Fox Hounds, HSUS, and the NYS
Vet. Medicine Assoc. Dog-friendl y, dog- safe
communities for all New Yorkers
Background information
threaten health and safety, and give pet dealers
The meeting began with a review of the current pet five days to correct them.
dealer regulations, which went into effect in 2000. The
Department noted that at the time the pet dealer program Pet dealers are then re-inspected after 30 (or five)
was enacted, $7 - 800,000 was the estimated cost for days to make sure that the problems have been
administering the program, but that in reality the program addressed.
receives $2 - 300,000 annually for enforcement.
Ag & Mkts’ primary concern
The $100/year that each pet dealer pays in licensing fees .
is no where near adequate to fund the program, yet Gov. The Department's biggest issue is that it is difficult
Paterson wants the program to be self-sufficient. to document the number of animals an individual
sells or offers for sale. Current NYS law defines
Ag & Mkts spokespeople explained that the program “pet dealers” by the number of animals they sell or
employs 20 inspectors. They are licensed veterinary offer for sale and Ag and Mkts monitors websites
technicians supervised by veterinarians working for Ag & and publications for advertisements.
Mkts. The inspectors are assigned regionally throughout
NY, inspections are done upon application for a pet Because people selling puppies no longer
dealer license, and annually thereafter. "Special advertise a specific number of dogs for sale, the
inspections" are done on complaint. Department believes that individuals and
enterprises that should be licensed and regulated
For 2009 YTD there have been 360 inspections. Of as pet dealers are falling through the cracks.
these, 85 were triggered by complaints, 154 were re-
inspections and 43 were new applicants. Additional concerns, proposed remedies
DogFederationofNew York.org
Inspectors note "general deficiencies" which are not life-
threatening (generally, sanitation issues), and give the
pet dealer 30 days to correct the problem. Inspectors
P O Box 547, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
also note "critical deficiencies" which DogFedNY@aol.com
OCTOBER 2009 PAGE 2

Dog Federation of New York


As a remedy, the Department would like all pet
(continues from page one) dealers to be required to authorize their vets to
Ag and Mkt spokespeople then described release veterinary records on all animals for
several additional concerns within the sale so that the Department can verify that a
Department: specific animal is under a vet's care and
receiving appropriate treatment.
Sick animals may be treated without
veterinary supervision Lack of socialization and exercise

Current regulations require that dogs' primary


Currently, if a sick or injured dog is identified
enclosure allow the animals to fully extend limbs
during inspection, the pet dealer is required to
obtain veterinary care for the animal. The and turn around. The Department wants the
Department finds, however, that upon re- minimum amount of space provided to each dog
inspection the pet dealer may provide (for doubled -- so that crates would need to be twice
example) a bottle of antibiotics as evidence of as long as the dog measures (nose to tail).
appropriate care for the injured/sick animal, but
they are not required to document that the Need for “stop sale orders”
animal actually saw a vet or that the antibiotic
was prescribed by a vet for that particular illness License revocation is a lengthy process and in
or injury.
the meantime a pet dealer may continue to sell
animals. The Department wants to be able to
stop sales of pets pending license revocation
proceedings.

Changes to "pet dealer" definition

Because Ag & Mkts finds it difficult to determine the


number of dogs sold or offered for sale, the
Department wants the number of breeding (intact)
females to determine whether an individual or
enterprise qualifies as a pet dealer.

Using the USDA guidelines as a model, the


Department proposes more than 3 intact females, or
selling or offering for sale more than 13 dogs
annually, as a threshold.

Additional comment

Puppies! What would the world be without them? Ag & Mkts identifies dog licensing data -- including
"purebred” license records -- as a tool to identify the
owners of intact dogs.
DFNY believes that it is inappropriate and
counterproductive to require home, hobby, and
sports dog breeders to comply with regulations
modeled on USDA commercial licensing DogFederationofNew York.org
standards.
P O Box 547, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
DogFedNY@aol.com
OCTOBER 2009 PAGE 3

Dog Federation of New York


Dog Federation of NY expresses deep Additionally, under the Paulin/Oppenheimer
proposal pet dealers are required to authorize the
concern blanket release of all veterinary records for all
animals in their care to the Department or its
Inappropriate standards authorized agents as well as comply with a host of
new requirements and regulations.
While DFNY wholeheartedly supports and commends
Keeping New York dog-friendly and dog-safe
the NYS Department of Agriculture and Market’s
commitment to the health and welfare of animals, and We believe that locally bred, locally raised dogs are
appreciates the opportunity to discuss these items with an excellent choice for New Yorkers who would like
Department spokespeople, we believe that it is to acquire a pet or working companion, and we are
inappropriate and counterproductive to require home, deeply concerned by legislation that curtails or
hobby, and sports dog breeders to comply with prohibits lawful, humane breeding and animal
regulations modeled on USDA commercial license husbandry practices.
standards.
DFNY looks forward to collaborating with the NYS
For example, guidelines for pet dealer standards of care Department of Agriculture and Markets and other
now circulated by Ag and Mkts require animals to be caring, responsible dog owners to find workable,
housed in “primary enclosures or cages.” The “primary reasonable solutions to the concerns we all share.
enclosure” surfaces—presumably the floors, ceilings
and walls of a room or rooms if a dog is living in a home Help DFNY help you
as a family member—must be “impervious.” Guidelines
require surfaces that are “non-porous, durable and The Dog Federation of New York welcomes
easy to maintain. . .Surfaces must withstand scrubbing individual dog owners and dog-related clubs and
with detergents and disinfectants. . .[and] withstand the organizations. A New York State not-for-profit, we
impact of water under pressure, if necessary.” are the only organization focused on laws and legal
issues impacting responsible New York dog owners,
and we advocate for strong, humane legislation.
Clearly, these guidelines and underlying law were not
written for raising dogs in a home environment. Visit our website, download an application, and join
us today!
Current legislation

Ag and Mkts advises that no legislative


proposal has yet been drafted in response to their
concerns, yet DFNY identifies components of several
existing bills now before the state legislature that are
consistent with the Department’s recommendations.

For example, under proposed NY A7983/S4961


(Paulin/Oppenheimer) pet dealers include anyone with
custody of more than four intact female dogs over the
age of six months.

Join the Dog Federation of New York


DogFederationofNewYork.org
P O Box 547, Rhinebeck, NY 12572 DogFedNY@aol.com
© Dog Federation of New York 2009