Government

Yorktown Bans Sale of Commercially Bred Pets

9d13cf725091768f97b8_4f2f25ac19bf91831129_43001.JPG
The move to ban commercially bred pets drew praise from out-of-towners, including Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
9d13cf725091768f97b8_4f2f25ac19bf91831129_43001.JPG

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The Town Board has unanimously voted to prohibit the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in Yorktown pet stores. The board passed the legislation after an Aug. 2 public hearing.

The amendment was first proposed in May, when the puppy mill issue was brought to light by the closing of American Breeders in Mohegan Lake. Councilman Ed Lachterman spearheaded the proposed law and the board worked with animal rights activists who had seen similar laws passed in other Westchester municipalities such as Mamaroneck, which banned the sale of commercially bred animals and required pet stores to stock their businesses with pets supplied through shelters and rescue groups.

Much of the debate at Town Board work sessions concerned the term “commercially bred,” as some residents said the term was open to many interpretations.

Sign Up for E-News

To address that, the new law allows only for the sale of dogs or cats that come from breeders who possess no more than 10 cats or 10 dogs in a calendar year, an animal shelter or Humane Society located in New York State, or a nonprofit rescue and humane organization registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture.

Violation of the article will result in a $250 fine and/or up to 15 days of in jail. Subsequent violations will be prosecuted as misdemeanors and violators will be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned for no more than 30 days.

Several members of the audience at last Tuesday’s meeting were residents of other towns with laws on the books banning the sale of commercially bred pets. Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum congratulated the board on what he called a “fantastic move.”

Melissa Romita, a resident of Harrison, who also sits on the board of directors for the Humane Society of Westchester, applauded the effort.

“It’s a problem that goes all the way up to the federal government but the fact that we’re starting a grassroots movement is effective for our communities,” she said.

Romita did, however, warn that crossbreeding and inbreeding can occur within the guidelines of the 10-dog-or-less component of the law, resulting in dogs with congenital issues that cause them to be abandoned, in shelters and euthanized.

“In addition to being an animal welfare issue, I really think it’s a consumer fraud issue and a taxpayer issue because any animal control agency that is in any particular town—taxpayers are funding that,” she said, adding that the situation is “entirely preventable.”

Elana Goren, who worked alongside the Town Board throughout the process, recognized the board’s willingness to look at the puppy mill issue and thanked Lachterman for initiating the conversation.

“The real impact on the problem is only going to end up coming from statewide or county legislation,” Supervisor Michael Grace said. The idea behind making local changes, he said, is to create a groundswell that will gain attention at higher levels.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

Catching up with Westchester County Executive George Latimer

George Latimer, our new county executive, has been in office now for a little over half a year. I thought it might be a good time to check in with my friend to see how things were going. You can see the interview in its entirety on Channel 74 (Optimum) at 9 p.m. Wednesday nights.

What happened last November?

The election last November brought change throughout Westchester County. In my ...

A (Burnt) Toast to Love and Marriage, on the Rocks

In its first few moments, sitcom-style comedy “Clever Little Lies” grabs audience attention right away, with one of the most revealing wardrobe changes you’ll ever see on stage. It is done modestly but just provocatively enough to elicit vocal appreciation from amused patrons.

The fast-paced play, starring Richard Kline of TV comedy classic “Three’s ...

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne Looks Back on 2018 Legislative Session

July 17, 2018

There’s an old saying, “Our liberty is never safe when the New York State Legislature is in session.” There’s definitely some truth to that. This past legislative session I successfully fought back against several initiatives that would have added to our state’s crushing tax burden, added excessive regulations on businesses that hurt job creation and chipped away at ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

If You See Something, Say Something

July 11, 2018

I am writing this letter because I see something different with the new Yorktown Town Board. I see an open government instead of a dictatorship with rubber stamps. I see the new Town Board working together for the best interests of the residents in Yorktown.

The auditor suggests in his report to not start a capital project without having the money first. A bad example is the Granite Knolls ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4e4c638eba7b9d057333_782289e382fb71551284_bocce_open_play_6-19-18

Thu, July 19, 7:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

Bocce Open Play

Sports

Thu, July 19, 7:15 PM

Jack DeVito Veterans Memorial Field, Yorktown

Outdoor Movie Night

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, July 21, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Yorktown Residents Named Ambassadors of Support-a-Walk

July 12, 2018

Two Yorktown residents have been named Walk Ambassadors for the Annual Support-a-Walk organized by Support Connection, a non-profit organization that provides support and services to people battling breast or ovarian cancer. This year's walk will take place on Oct. 7 (rain or shine) at FDR State Park.

Mary Heagle, Mohegan Lake

Heagle’s experience with breast cancer began when her ...