A bill aimed at preventing the sale of some animals in retail stores is picking up opposition and support across New York state.
The legislation would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at the retail level.
"This bill will eliminate my store," Jeff Cottrone, owner of Allie’s Pet Corner in Marketplace Mall in Henrietta said.
Cottrone says the bulk of his business comes from the sale of puppies, therefore the proposed changes would forced his shop to close.
"What we should be doing is improving the regulations and not dismantling them," he said.
Instead of selling the dogs, cats and rabbit, stores would be encouraged to partner with shelters and rescue groups to help promote the adoption of homeless pets.
"It basically interrupts the pipeline of puppies and the inhumane practices involved with out of state puppy mills, or in state puppy mills for that matter," Director of Rochester Animal Services Chris Fitzgerald said.
Rochester Animal Services has nearly 100 cats and dogs currently at its Verona Street shelter up for adoption. The organization is a member of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, an animal advocacy group that works to support legislation that helps shelters and rescue organizations, and is encouraging the bill’s passage.
"It supports relationships between pet retail stores, private and municipal shelters and local animal rescue organizations so that any animals that will be made available at pet stores would actually be adopted through those other agencies, through shelters and rescue agencies and not sold as retail commodities," Fitzgerald said.
The bill is designed to halt the sale of puppies born in poor conditions inside puppy mills.
Cottrone says he knows where his puppies come from. He travels to the breeder's location, each breeder is located in New York and is regulated by the USDA.
"The supporters of this bill have good intentions, but they’re not thinking through the consequences of how this will play out," Cottrone said. "If you eliminate our regulated system you are going to create in its place backyard breeders who are way too many to regulate."
The animal protection group says New York has one of the highest concentration of pet stores and this bill would protect both the animals and the consumers. But pet shops, like Allie’s, disagree.
It's now in the hands of lawmakers.