Animal rights advocates are calling it a victory. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Friday evening, that allows local governments to adopt stronger laws to regulate animal breeders. Karen Tararache has more.
NEW YORK STATE -- It was exactly one week ago that Time Warner Cable News reported on a story that got attention from people not just in New York State but from across the nation. Now Governor Cuomo passed legislation that will put the power into a municipalities hands to deside whether or not stronger breeding laws are required.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco explained, "The best government is the one that's closest to the most important parts of this representative democracy. One that's close to the tax payers and the voters. In this case they now have a say in what's going on in areas like Sprakers and those puppy mills."
The public's intense focus on the well being of about 40 border collies at this breeding facility in Sprakers led authorities in Montgomery county to investigate. Both State Police and the Dog Warden we spoke with say that by law, they never found enough evidence to warrant the dogs were being treated poorly.
Dr. Holly Cheever of The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Society said, "They did not do anything to ameliorate the suffering of these animals it took a lot of pressure and education to get the law enforcement to step up and finally get these animals out of there."
While animal advocates now breathe a sigh of relief at the passing of the "Puppy Mill Bill," Dr. Cheever says this legislation could also have some negative unintended consequences.
"Who's going train the inspectors who's going to pay the inspectors, who's going to have the extra money to implement a whole new program?" Cheever asked.
She adds that Governor Cuomo failed to pass legislation in 2013 that would have provided the establishment of training for dog control officers and police officers to deal with animal abuse issues.
"So, yes, it's nice the Governor to acquiesced to public pressure and he signed the Puppy Mill Bill, but shame on the Governor frankly for not signing the bill that give us the ability to not properly train the officers so they know what to look for."
Even so, Tedisco is hopeful the State is moving in the right direction, to empower local governments to determine what is compassionate care for animals.
"They have an opportunity to talk to their village trustees, their supervisors, mayors, counselors, county legislators and tell them this is the way we want you to treat animals that are bred."