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Letter: Cuomo must sign bill to deter puppy mills

Cuomo must sign bill to deter puppy mills

Imagine if your beloved family dog were forced to spend its entire life in a tiny, cramped, wire-floored cage, stacked on top of one another, often outdoors, with no protection from the elements, sick, in pain and suffering but never receiving veterinary care or compassion.

This is the reality for tens of thousands of dogs housed in puppy mills around the country. Their puppies, whose cost is often inflated by 150 percent, are purchased by unsuspecting customers in pet stores throughout New York State or on the Internet. These dogs frequently go to their new homes with diseases, parasites or congenital and hereditary conditions that often result in exorbitant vet bills or even the death of the puppy. It is a fact that 18 percent of pet store puppies die prematurely.

One also may be surprised to find out that taxpayers are responsible for footing the bill, because this type of business practice produces cruelty seizures, sheltering costs for relinquished pets and legal proceedings.

The State Senate and Assembly have approved legislation that would give our own local governments the ability to regulate the care, quality and health of companion animals sold in pet stores. It is our duty to speak for those who cannot help themselves. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should sign this bill.

Amy E. Dickinson