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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.3828/A.216) Thursday to increase health and safety standards in animal care for all pet dealers. The enhancements set clear guidelines for sanitary living enclosures and food receptacles, annual veterinary examinations, regular grooming, diurnal light cycles, and separate spaces for pregnant dogs which provide sufficient room to nurse and care for a litter.

"If pet dealers are going to profit from the sale of living animals, they should at the very least adhere to basic standards of decency and care," Cuomo said. "These new rules will create safer, more sanitary and more humane conditions for animals while they wait for a new permanent home."

Senator Jen Metzger said, "This legislation, which I was proud to sponsor, provides much needed protections and standards for treatment of companion animals under the care of pet dealers and breeders. Now that this legislation has been signed into law, New Yorkers can be assured that the animals they purchase have been properly cared for, which is so important to their long-term health. The law also provides much-needed protection from the kind of abusive practices and negligent behavior that has occurred at unscrupulous puppy mills, which care only about profit with little regard for the animals' welfare."

"Starting today, New York State will ensure that pet dealers will be held to standards that will promote the safety, good health, and overall well-being of the animals in their care," said Assembly Member Amy Paulin. "There have been too many instances when pet dealers have neglected to properly groom animals in their charge, and those animals have been found with overgrown nails, excessive matting of fur, and infestations of fleas and ticks. With this law, we will prevent this kind of negligent treatment."

Under the new law, the minimum standards of care for all pets in the custody of pet dealers will be raised to require that primary enclosures for animals must be cleaned daily and sanitized every two weeks. Isolation areas for ill animals must meet the housing requirements for healthy animals.

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