Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 6-3-2014 by L.L. No. 16-2014]

§ 299-56 Legislative intent.

This Legislature hereby finds and determines that pets, especially dogs and cats, are a part of many families throughout Suffolk County. This Legislature also finds and determines that many families choose to purchase their dog or cat at a pet store. This Legislature further finds and determines that pet stores vary widely in their care and treatment of the animals they sell, with some treating their animals like extended family while others barely meet state requirements. This Legislature finds that dog and cat breeders that cater to pet stores also vary significantly in their treatment of newborn animals and the way they breed new litters. This Legislature determines that some pet breeders operate substandard commercial facilities that expose animals to inhuman and unsafe living conditions to increase profit margins. This Legislature also finds that it can be difficult for consumers to judge how a pet store cares for the animals it sells or how the animal was treated at their breeder's facility. This Legislature further finds that the New York State Legislature recently enacted legislation which, for the first time, empowers local governments to regulate pet dealers. This Legislature also determines that the County of Suffolk should enact a reasonable framework for pet dealers and the operation of pet stores that supplements existing state regulations and which serves to protect both consumers and the animals offered for sale. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to establish requirements for pet dealers and pet stores operating in the County of Suffolk.

§ 299-57 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The
ADOPTION
The process of taking guardianship of and responsibility for a pet that was abandoned or released by a previous owner to a shelter or rescue organization.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
ANIMAL
A cat, a dog, a hamster, a guinea pig, or a rabbit.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
BREEDER
Any person who breeds nine or more cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters or guinea pigs per year.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
BROKER
Any person who imports, buys, sells or trades cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, kittens, puppies, or bunnies in wholesale channels. Brokers are not required to take physical possession of the animals to be deemed as such.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
CAT
An animal of the genus Felis of the family Felidae.
DOG
An animal of the genus Canis of the family Canidae.
GUINEA PIG
An animal of the genus Cavia of the family Caviidae, subfamily Caviinae.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
HAMSTER
An animal of the family Cricetidae, subfamily Cricetinae.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
PERSON
A natural person, individual, corporation, unincorporated association, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock association, or other entity or business organization of any kind.
PET DEALER
Any person who engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals per year for profit to the public. Such definition shall include breeders who sell or offer to sell animals; except a breeder who sells or offers to sell directly to consumers fewer than 25 animals per year that are born and raised on the breeder's residential premises shall not be considered a pet dealer. Such definition shall further not include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption, whether or not a fee is charged for such adoption.
PET STORE
A business establishment owned and/or operated by a pet dealer.
RABBIT
An animal of the Leporidae family of the Lagomorpha order.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture.

§ 299-58 General requirements.

A. 
No animal shall be offered for sale, trade or give-away by a pet dealer or pet store unless the animal is at least eight weeks old, is in good health and has been weaned from its mother. No pet dealer or pet store shall transfer an animal to an individual or entity as an adoption unless the animal was sourced from a municipal shelter within Suffolk County.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
B. 
Pet dealers shall only source from USDA-licensed breeders and brokers. Animals shall not be sourced from private or exempt breeders through a USDA-licensed broker. No pet dealer shall obtain animals originating from a breeder or a broker that has received:
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
(1) 
A direct violation from the USDA within the past two years;
(2) 
"No access" violations on any USDA inspection reports within the past two years;
(3) 
Three or more indirect violations, other than "no access" violations on any USDA inspection reports within the past two years;
(4) 
One or more reoccurring indirect violations on any USDA inspection report within the past two years; or
(5) 
A 2.40 violation (attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care) on any USDA inspection report within the past two years.
C. 
Any animal offered for sale, trade or give-away by a pet dealer or pet store shall have daily access to appropriate amounts of clean, fresh water and clean, fresh food no less than twice per day.
D. 
Any pet dealer or pet store offering animals for sale, trade or give-away shall, upon request of the prospective consumer, make available a copy of the most recent inspection reports conducted by the USDA and the animal's state of origin of the breeder and/or broker from which the subject animal came. Pet dealers and pet stores shall post the statement "USDA inspection reports are available upon request" on the bottom of signs required pursuant to New York State General Business Law § 753-b, which statement shall be subject to the same standards of readability.
E. 
Any pet dealer or pet store offering animals for sale, trade or give-away shall retain each invoice it receives from the broker or breeder from whom it obtains its animals for a period of at least two years. A copy of the invoice must be provided to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs upon the Department's request.
F. 
Any pet dealer or pet store offering animals for sale, trade or give-away shall make sterilization services by a licensed veterinarian available to the consumer for animals sold at an age at which such procedures may be performed safely. Consumers shall be responsible for any costs associated with utilizing such services.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
G. 
No pet dealers or pet store shall provide animals to customers under lease or rental terms. Any agreement for short-term use of an animal or an agreement involving installment payments by a customer shall be deemed an improper rental or lease of an animal.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
H. 
Pet dealers and pet stores shall post a sign provided by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs at the entrance of their businesses which is fully visible from the exterior of the store, that directs consumers to a webpage maintained by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs regarding pet dealers and pet stores.
[Added 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]

§ 299-59 Primary animal enclosure requirements for pet dealers.

A. 
Any primary animal enclosure used to house an animal offered for sale, trade, or give-away shall house a maximum of four animals.
B. 
The required floor space for each animal in an enclosure shall be the number that results from making the following calculation: (length of the largest animal in inches measured from nose to tail +6)2 divided by 144 = required floor space in square feet. For a single animal housed in an enclosure alone, the enclosure's floor space shall be a minimum of two square feet, provided the calculation above would result in a smaller space.
C. 
The interior height of the primary enclosure must be at least six inches higher than the head of the tallest animal when it is in a normal standing position.
D. 
Any enclosure made from wire must contain a resting board of sufficient size for the contained animals to lie, stretch, walk and stand without touching other animals and without touching the sides of the containment structure or wire.
E. 
Animal enclosures shall be stacked no more than two enclosures high. The topmost stacked enclosure must have a solid floor that will not permit food or debris to fall into any lower cage.
F. 
Any primary animal enclosure shall have a tag in Times New Roman font in a minimum font size of 16 points with the following information about each animal which is housed therein:
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
(1) 
Breed of the animal, if known;
(2) 
Sex of the animal;
(3) 
Color or other identifying markers;
(4) 
Date of the animal's birth;
(5) 
The name, state and USDA license number of the breeder; and
(6) 
The name, state and USDA license number of the broker, if applicable.

§ 299-60 Exemption.

Pet dealers and pet stores may use animal enclosures that are stacked three enclosures high if they were purchased and installed by the pet store or pet dealer prior to the effective date of this article, provided that they have solid floors between each level, but this exemption will lapse and terminate five years after this article's effective date. All other requirements associated with animal enclosures shall remain in effect.

§ 299-61 Enforcement.

A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
B. 
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs shall inspect each pet store operating in the County of Suffolk at least once annually and shall make additional inspections of any pet store should it observe or receive credible evidence of violations.

§ 299-62 Rules and regulations.

The Commissioner of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary to implement the provisions of this article.

§ 299-63 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any pet dealer or pet store which violates any provision of this article shall be assessed a civil fine of $500 per violation. Each individual violation of the provisions shall be considered a separate and distinct offense.
[Amended 10-5-2016 by L.L. No. 28-2016]
B. 
A civil penalty shall only be assessed by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs following a hearing and opportunity for an alleged violator to be heard.

§ 299-64 Applicability.

This article shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this article.

§ 299-65 When effective.

This article shall take effect 120 days following its filing in the office of the Secretary of State.