ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Advocation for animal welfare is taking a step forward as it was announced Wednesday that New York State Senator Sean Ryan and the Senate Democratic Majority advanced legislation in recognition of National Pet Week, to improve the health and safety of domestic animals.

The legislation aims to curb animal abuse and mistreatment of animals throughout the state and encourage humane treatment.

“This package of legislation will protect countless animals from cruelty and neglect. Animal shelters throughout New York face challenges every day finding homes for the animals in their care,” said Senator Sean Ryan. “Encouraging pet shops to work with shelters to showcase the pets waiting to be adopted will result in increased adoption numbers, and help provide loving homes to dogs and cats who otherwise may never have found one. We are also taking aggressive action to cut off sales outlets for puppy mills, which will disincentivize the operation of these abusive breeding facilities by making them less profitable.”

The legislation passed by the Senate Majority, includes:

●       Puppy Mill Sales Ban: This bill, sponsored by Senator Micheal Gianaris, prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits by retail pet shops, thus creating a barrier against the puppy mill supply chain and encouraging pet shops to partner with local animal shelters to showcase animals available for adoption.

●       Clarifies Aggravated Cruelty to Animals: This bill, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, eliminates the word “serious” from the “serious physical injury” language of the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals, to ensure appropriate penalties when a person intends to cause extreme physical pain to an animal, even if the animal makes a full recovery.

●       Abandoned Animal Property Inspections: This bill, sponsored by Senator Michele Hinchey, will require landlords of vacated properties to inspect the property for abandoned animals within three days if they knew or should have known that the property had been vacated.

●       Companion Animal Consideration: This bill, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis, will require the best interest of a companion animal to be considered when awarding possession in a divorce.