Let’s work together to curb puppy mills

I recently attended the Amherst Town Board meeting where a resolution to discuss the new Pet Dealer Law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo was presented. The law was created to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills.

New York’s pet stores support predominantly large-scale, out-of-state puppy mills. Most puppies sold in our stores come from massive, poorly regulated facilities that prioritize profit over responsible, humane animal care. The breeding parents live in cages their whole lives. This new local authority could enact more stringent laws to allow citizens to have a voice regarding these retail businesses.

Unfortunately, petty politics and clashing personalities prevented this discussion from even taking place. Supervisor Barry Weinstein presented the resolution to open up a discussion with the town attorney. It was voted “yes.” Then Councilman Mark Manna introduced an amendment to prevent grandfathering of any pet stores. Weinstein stated that since an amendment was presented, he would now vote “no.” It appeared that Manna presented his amendment to look like the “good guy,” since amendments are often not necessary in the resolution phase, and Weinstein changed his vote to spite Manna. The resolution was not passed.

I encourage citizens to visit the Humane Society and ASPCA websites to learn more about where our pet store puppies come from. The animals didn’t fail themselves; the humans failed them.

Lisa Brzeczkowski