FRANKLIN COUNTY — The New York Senate this week passed a bill that would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores across the state, according to the ASPCA. The bill strikes at the heart of retail pet sales — the puppy mill industry.
Pet stores often source puppies from out-of-state, low-welfare, commercial breeding facilities (a.k.a., puppy mills) that have a primary goal of breeding as many animals as possible for maximum profit, ASPCA said. The health and safety of the animals is not a top priority.
One dog from Franklin County, named Izzy, knows all too well about the puppy mill. Izzy’s family adopted her through a rescue organization that saves puppy mill dogs. Her family said that the rescue organization saved Izzy from an Ohio puppy mill farmer, who was going to put Izzy down. Apparently, she had not been purchased at auction because she had an overbite and was ill.
Izzy’s family took on the responsibility of bringing Izzy back to good health. They said it was a long process — she had, among other things, pneumonia, parasites and giardia. Izzy suffered, a lot, but her family didn’t give up on her. With the help of some amazing veterinarians, they identified certain congenital issues that meant Izzy needed very special attention. But she got it.
The community stepped up to help Izzy’s family; one little girl even donated her birthday money for Izzy’s medical bills. Now, Izzy’s health is stable, and she is helping bring attention to the problem of puppy mills through a social media presence.
The family says that Izzy’s problems could have been avoided through proper breeding. Izzy’s facebook page, “Izzy’s Story,” works to educate the public about the dangers of supporting a retail industry that creates the opportunity for puppy mills to thrive.
In New York, according to the ASPCA, the State Assembly has before it a companion bill to the Senate version to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. The bill is currently in committee and has yet to pass.