When you purchase your puppy from a pet store, your new little friend will cost thousands of dollars, and the salesperson will tell you alot to convince you to pay more than the sales price. There will be paperwork for you to read and sign and consumer laws that you need to understand to avoid the additional fees your salesperson tries to tack onto the price.
Pet store - New York Attorney Susan Chana Lask
By KILEY STEVENS
Staff Writer 2/26/16
Attorney Susan Chana Lask defends Puppy Mill Ban with Mayor Rosenblum
The village of Mamaroneck is the first municipality in the state of New York to ban the sale of commercially bred animals in local pet stores.
This unprecedented law was passed by a 4-0 vote, with one trustee abstaining, at a raucous Feb. 22 Board of Trustees meeting after weeks of discussion and public hearings.
The law, dubbed “Public Local Law D” was proposed by Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, and passed with the help of Susan Chana Lask, an attorney based in Manhattan. Lask said she became involved with the local legislation when a village resident emailed her asking for help. Although Lask is a litigator, she speaks to towns nationwide about animal protection. “I do that out of passion, pro bono,” she said.
Though Lask and Rosenblum faced opposition from some members of the village board citing concerns over the constitutionality of the mayor’s proposal, Lask told the Review that she has reviewed at least four federal cases that upheld the legality of the law.
“You’re not prohibiting the sale of all animals, you’re just regulating the source,” she said.
The law, as written, states that pet stores within the village may only sell animals that come from animal shelters or humane societies within New York state. Under the law, no animal that comes from a breeder or puppy mill is permissible to be sold in the village of Mamaroneck.
The push for legislation began in August 2015 when residents began protesting a local pet store on Mamaroneck Avenue, then named Best Breeds Puppies and Kittens. The owner of the store at the time, Richard Doyle, of Mahopac, New York, has been in trouble with the law multiple times. He has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and one count of selling a diseased animal. One of his store fronts, located in Wappingers Falls, New York, has since closed. In December 2015, he was arrested at one of his other store fronts in Mohegan Lake on two felony counts of witness tampering.
The storefront in Mamaroneck was sold to a new owner in December, Kevin Casiraghi, who renamed the store National Breeders. However, Lask investigated the license number posted on a dog cage in the store, which was connected to a breeder in the midwest who, according to Lask, was laden with violations. Some of the violations included shivering animals, the use of unapproved medications and animals who had not been examined by veterinarians.
When reached by phone on Tuesday, an employee at National Breeders declined to comment.
Part of the problem with regulating the source of animals, according to Lask, is the 120 U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors that inspect breeders nationwide “do not have the resources to police these puppy mills.” She told the Review that their job is to simply give breeders in violation a notice—not to fine them or shut them down.
Trustee David Finch, a Democrat, expressed concerns that the business model that would come with passage of the law would not be viable for business owners.
Brian Shapiro, the state director of the Humane Society, told the Review in a previous interview that more and more pet stores have been adopting what he referred to as a “humane model,” by sourcing their animals from shelters and humane societies.
Although Finch was concerned about engaging the village in protracted litigation, he did vote for the law. “If I had voted against it, I would be labeled as anti-puppy for the rest of my life,” he said. Finch added that he voted yes partially because Lask agreed to defend the village pro bono should they be hit with a lawsuit in the coming weeks.
Trustee Leon Potok, a Democrat, abstained from the vote out of fear of a potential lawsuit.
Lask told the Review she is very happy that the law passed in spite of the opposition it faced initially. “What we showed is that you shouldn’t cower in the face of adversity, which we had a lot of,” she said.
As for Rosenblum, the vote proved to be a victory he was eager to celebrate. “I could not be prouder to be part of any community, anywhere in the United States…” the mayor said.
An initial proposed law concerning the health care and treatment of pet store animals, proposed in January, is still being discussed by the village board. That conversation will continue at the board’s March 7 meeting after some board members expressed the desire to go over its legislation with the state attorney general.
by NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE on FEBRUARY 21, 2016
MAMARONECK—If the village of Mamaroneck adopts proposed regulations on village pet shops that would effect a local ban on puppy mill puppies and kittens from being sold in pet stores, it could set a precedent in the state.
puppy mill dogsVillage trustees are scheduled to vote on the proposal Monday, Feb. 22 at a meeting to be held at the Village Court Room, 169 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Mamaroneck, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum is pushing for the adoption of legislation. Village pet shop owners could only obtain dogs and cats from rescue shelters or humane societies in Westchester County or those that are registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture.
The proposed law targets puppy and kitten mills by imposing a village-wide ban on the sale of commercially-bred dogs and cats. Violations would be prosecuted as a misdemeanor and result in fines of $250 to $1,000.
Rosenblum says, “We are responsible for the welfare of our animals and our citizens, and this law protects both”.
More than 120 towns nationwide passed similar laws, including Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. New York State currently has no such law.
Until 2014, New York localities were prohibited from passing animal welfare laws. That changed when Governor Cuomo signed the Puppy Mill Bill allowing towns to pass their own laws
This law protects animals by cutting off the demand for breeding them in inhumane Puppy Mills and protects consumers from purchasing sick animals that pet stores buy from puppy mills. Every Federal court in 2015 from Arizona to New York has upheld our responsibility to protect our animals and dismissed pet store lawsuits trying to undermine sales of shelter animals,” Animal Rights Counsel Susan Chana Lask said in a press release.
The law was drafted in response to a pet store called Best Breeds Puppies and Kittens. Owner Richard Doyle was arrested on several counts of animal cruelty and accusations of performing unlicensed surgeries on the puppies he sold.
The proposed law follows:
§156-12 Prohibition on Sale of Commercially Bred Dogs and Cats in Pet Stores
a. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any live dog or cat in any pet store, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the Village of Mamaroneck, unless the dog or cat was obtained from an animal shelter or a humane society located in the County of Westchester, or a non¬profit rescue and humane organization registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture.
To express your support for this law to the members of the board of trustees, contact them.
An increasingly prevalent issue facing courts today is how to treat a family’s beloved pet in a divorce proceeding. A recent poll of 1,500 members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that “nearly a quarter of divorce lawyers surveyed across the country have noticed an increase in pet-custody cases in the last five years.” In divorce proceedings or property disputes between housemates and separated couples, the scale has begun to tip in favor of treating pets or companion animals as living beings as courts consider the pet’s best interest when custody is an issue. The standard in child custody is the acronym “BIC”-or “best interests of the child.” It appears we now have “BIP”, or best interests of the pet”.
On December 29, 2012, Elena, by her attorney Susan Chana Lask, filed a complaint as ELENA ZAKHAROVA for herself and as Representative of her dog, Umka, against Raising Rover in New York County Civil Court. The effect of naming Umka in the Complaint is to show Umka is a living being and the subject of this case. It is not about Elena-this is about Umka and any puppy created defective because of bad breeding and left to live in pain.
In a country already suffering from an over population of dogs, cats and other companion animals, there are nearly six thousand commercial kennels or “puppy mills” in the United States licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture perpetuating the problem. Approximately four million dogs are bred in puppy mills annually and an estimated four to five million die every year (almost 11,000 daily). Causes of death include but are not limited to, neglect and starvation, untreated illnesses, and lack of heat or air conditioning in puppy mills. The conditions in puppy mills are downright atrocious and inhumane.