ALBANY, New York (WABC) -- New York state lawmakers announced support Monday for a bill that would ban the sale of puppies from puppy mills.
The legislation covers dogs, cats, and bunnies from unregulated breeding facilities and would ban the sale of those animals at pet stores.
The bill encourages pet stores to build relationships with rescue organizations and shelters.
The senate's Domestic Animal Welfare committee is expected to vote on the legislation.
Still, pet shop owners fear unintended consequences. Since 1954, generations of families have come to American Kennels on Lexington Avenue to buy their pets. But Donald Jones says he's worried it could all simply go away if the proposed legislation passes.
"They don't know how to disseminate from the good and the bad," he said.
Jones says all of his dogs come from private grade A breeders.
Senator Michael Gianaris introduced the bill, which he says is focused on stopping the puppy mill pipeline. He says oftentimes, animals are raised out of state in cruel, unsanitary, inhumane conditions and then end up pet shops in New York.
But critics say the bill is a "unwise and unproven reaction to well intended animal health and safety concerns."
If passed, the law would affect roughly 80 licensed pet stores in the state.
"All the people that want their dogs are going to go to New Jersey, where they can buy all the dogs they want without a lemon law," Jones said.
Those laws allow customers to get an exchange or refund if their pet is sick.