Monday, August 01, 2011

Dog Federation of New York Announces Results of First Study of NY Pet Dealers

Strong Majority of Licensed Pet Stores and Breeders Comply
with Animal Welfare Mandates

New York, NY – August 1, 2011: The Dog Federation of New York (DFNY), a not-for-profit statewide coalition of individual dog owners and dog-related clubs and organizations committed to animal welfare, announced today completion of their first analysis of inspection records of licensed New York State pet stores and non-residential breeders referred to as “pet dealers” under state law. With a growing effort from radical animal rights activists in New York and nationally to permanently close all pet stores and submit dog and cat breeders to overly-burdensome regulation, the findings are of particular importance to New York’s elected officials. Copies of the study will be made available to public officials.

Because elected officials may have few facts and little more than Internet rumor on which to base their deliberations, the Dog Federation of New York will offer relevant sections of its database to Suffolk County legislators. Earlier this summer, Suffolk County considered a proposal sponsored by Legis. Jon Cooper which would have closed most pet stores in the county by prohibiting the retail sale of dogs under the age of one year. The proposal has since been withdrawn.

A key finding of the DFNY study of calendar year 2009 showed that during regular annual inspections statewide, very few infractions cited by inspectors involved the hands-on care of animals. Other than a failure to renew pet dealer licenses on time, a whopping 82.1% of inspections statewide identified no short-comings during regular annual inspections.

A “critical” violation with the potential to immediately impact the health or safety of animals was identified in 7.8% of annual inspections conducted of each pet dealer in New York State. Only one New York pet dealer was cited for more than one critical violation during a regular annual inspection in 2009.

"This study is an important first step in establishing a fact-based picture of licensed New York pet dealers, kennels and catteries. Our data provides real information for animal lovers and public officials who may be unfamiliar with requirements and levels of compliance,” commented Dog Federation of New York spokesperson Mahlon Goer. “While there were pet dealers with unacceptable conditions of care, and such facilities must be brought into compliance with the law immediately, we believe New Yorkers will be surprised with the generally high level of compliance with our laws designed to protect the welfare of animals held by pet dealers.”

The Dog Federation of New York obtained records from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) covering each of the 571 annual, “special” and re-inspections of pet dealers conducted by NYSDAM in 2009. Analysts examined each inspection report, tabulating identified strengths and weaknesses, levels of compliance with regulations designed to safeguard the health and safety of animals, and probing areas of apparent shortfall. Licensed pet dealers include pet stores and some dog and cat breeders selling animals directly to the public in New York State.

NYSDAM inspects licensed pet dealers at least once a year to assure compliance with state laws governing housing, sanitation, food and water, and veterinary care for animals in the care of pet dealers. In addition to regulations designed to safeguard the welfare of animals, New York pet dealers must also comply with requirements for record keeping and documentation, and provide their customers with consumer rights notices and other educational materials.

“Protecting the welfare of pets is a concern we all share, whether the animals reside in private homes, institutions such as shelters and rescues, or in the care of pet dealers. We hope our data will contribute to an informed understanding of the licensed, inspected New York pet dealers in our communities.”

About the Dog Federation of New York:

The Dog Federation of New York is a statewide coalition of dog clubs and organizations that serves the public interest by educating citizens and legislators on responsible dog ownership and advocating for strong, and humane dog-related legislation. The Dog Federation of New York welcomes all dog owners and dog-related organizations in New York.