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State bill would crack down on puppy mills

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WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
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Governor Andrew Cuomo is being urged to sign a bill that would crack down on puppy mills.  State Senator Mark Grisanti of Buffalo  appeared at the Erie County SPCA Tuesday with many owners of puppy mill dogs. The bill would regulate commercial pet breeders and pet stores.

"I saw, with my own eyes, some of the videos, and the way these crates were stacked on top of each other, and you know the fecal matter, the urine just going from one dog," said Senator Grisanti.

Grisanti described the horrible conditions found where unregulated dog breeding is occurring known as puppy mills. 

Many dogs are sent to pet shops to sell to unsuspecting consumers. 

New York State has the second highest amount of puppy pet stores in the nation -- yet local governments across the state are prohibited from regulating those stores.

"Putting municipalities in charge of regulating pet dealers will allow for better oversight and recognition of these abusive pet dealers," said Grisanti.

The puppy mills subject animals to poor conditions that cause various health issues. 

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Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
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Dog from a puppy mill now owned by SPCA executive director Barbara Carr

SPCA executive director Barbara Carr said millions of dogs are living in harmful conditions.  Her own dog suffered at a puppy mill.

"When I took this dog home -- with no intention of keeper her -- you know she had no fur, she was covered with scabs, her mouth was rotten with bad teeth, her paws were bleeding," said Carr.

The bill would also assist the SPCA's and localities which care for many of these pets that are abandoned by their owners because it cost too much to care for the animals.

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Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
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Several dogs from puppy mills

Lorry Schlick is president of the Western New York Citizens Against Puppy Mills.   Schlick said pet shops receive regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that's misleading to consumers.

"Getting a cursory look by the USDA inspectors, once year, if that, to see if they have food water and shelter, which is the bare bones they are required to have," said Schlick. "There is nothing good about a USDA licensed puppy."

A Cheekowaga woman named Sunnie was holding a puppy mill dog at the SPCA. 

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Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
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Dog from a puppy mill used in breeding in poor conditions

"But she lived in a chicken coop, in a little cage for like eight years just having puppies, puppies, puppies. she is still very afraid," said Sunnie. 

The puppy mill bill has already been approved by the Senate and Assembly, but still needs to be delivered to the Governor.