PIJAC

Suffolk County, NY Legislature Adopts Amendments to Pet Dealer Law

On October 5th, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously adopted Introductory Resolution No. 1761, which amends the Pet Dealer Law it passed in 2014 (Local Law 16-2014). 

IR-1761 shall take effect immediately upon its filing with the NY Secretary of State’s Office.

New Definitions:

  • “Animal” now means a cat, a dog, a hamster, a guinea pig, or a rabbit.
  • “Broker” now means any person who imports, buys, sells or trades cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, kittens, puppies, or bunnies in wholesale channels.  Brokers are not required to take physical possession of the animals to be deemed as such.

New Sourcing Restrictions:

  • Pet dealers shall only source from USDA licensed breeders and brokers. Animals shall not be sourced from private or exempt breeders through a USDA licensed broker.
  • No pet dealer shall obtain animals originating from a breeder or a broker that has received:
    • “No access” violations on any USDA inspection reports within the past two years (current law is “on the two most recent inspection reports”);
    • Three or more indirect violations, other than “no access” violations on any USDA inspection reports within the past two years (current law is “on the most recent inspection report”).
    • One or more reoccurring indirect violations on any USDA inspection report within the past two years (current law is “on the most recent inspection report”); or
    • A 2.40 violation (attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care) on any USDA inspection report within the past two years (new provision).

New Signage Requirement:

  • Pet dealers and pet stores shall post a sign provided by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs at the entrance of their business which is fully visible from the exterior of the store, that directs consumers to a webpage maintained by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs regarding pet dealers and pet stores.

Pet Rental/Leasing Prohibition:

  • Adds provision that No pet dealers or pet store shall provide animals to customers under lease or rental terms. Any agreement for short term use of an animal or an agreement involving installment payments by a customer shall be deemed an improper rental or lease of an animal.

New Pet Dealer Primary Enclosure Requirement:

  • Any primary animal enclosure shall have a tag in Times New Roman font in a minimum font size of 16 points (current law has no font size requirement) with information about each animal which housed therein.

NOTE:

By amending the definition of “Animal” to include guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits, IR-1761 effectively changes the existing definition for “Pet Dealer”, adding pet stores selling small animals.

Current Suffolk County Code provides that “Pet Dealer” means any person who engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals per year for profit to the public. Such definition shall include breeders who sell or offer to sell animals; except a breeder who sells or offers to sell directly to consumers fewer than 25 animals per year that are born and raised on the breeder's residential premises shall not be considered a pet dealer. Such definition shall further not include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption, whether or not a fee is charged for such adoption.

“Pet Store” means a business establishment owned and/or operated by a pet dealer.