A pair of dog breeders have filed separate lawsuits against the Town of Riverhead, claiming that its new law cracking down on puppy mills is overly restrictive and will put them out of business.
The plaintiffs are Sportsman’s Kennels in Manorville and Puppy Experience in Aquebogue, which each filed suits a week apart over the law that Riverhead passed last month banning the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits.
The law, which takes effect in January, would “promote animal welfare and encourage best practices in the breeding and purchasing of dogs, cats and rabbits offered for retail sale in the Town of Riverhead,” the legislation states. Pets could only be adopted from animal shelters or nonprofit rescues under the law.
A puppy mill is defined as a “an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility that churns out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers,” according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Both suits allege the town law violates New York State law regulating the commercial dog breeding industry. In the first case, a judge issued an order temporarily blocking the law from taking effect.