New York Senate Passes Bill Banning Sale of Cats, Dogs, and Rabbits in Pet Stores

Who let the dogs out? The New York State Senate, that's who.
Who let the dogs out? The New York State Senate, that's who.
joshblake/iStock via Getty Images

On Tuesday, July 21, the New York State Senate voted in favor of a bill that prohibits the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in all New York pet stores.

Not only would the ban encourage people to adopt rescue animals, but it would also discourage the existence of the puppy, kitten, and rabbit mills that supply many pet stores with animals. These high-volume breeding facilities have a reputation for poor living conditions and even animal abuse, and organizations like the Humane Society have long fought against them.

“Pet stores that sell puppies may look good from the window, but rely on a recklessly inhumane system to make money, importing potentially sick animals from out-of-state puppy mills and deceptively passing them off to consumers as healthy pets from responsible breeders,” Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), said in the Senate's press release.

The bill wouldn’t ban the purchase of pets altogether; prospective owners could still buy them from individual breeders, where they’d be able to see the living conditions and make an informed decision about whether the breeder deserves their business. And it doesn’t necessarily spell the end for the 80 or so retail stores currently licensed to sell animals in New York; according to the Times Union, much of their earnings come from merchandise rather than the animals themselves. Opponents argue that it would severely impact store revenue and also motivate more people to purchase pets online, which isn’t regulated.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, who introduced the bill back in February, is one of the Senate’s most prominent advocates for animal welfare. He was also behind last year’s law against cat declawing—the first statewide ban in the country. (Other states followed New York's lead.)

“With so many good animals in need of rescue, there is no need for pet stores to sell animals that predominantly come from abusive puppy and kitten mills,” Gianaris said in yesterday's press release. “Our four-legged companions should be treated with respect, not like commodities.”

Before this new bill becomes a law, the State Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo both have to approve it, and it’s not yet clear when that might be.

In the meantime, here are 25 compelling reasons to adopt a rescue dog.

[h/t Times Union]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

A Wily Fox With a Passion for Fashion Stole More Than 100 Shoes From a Berlin Neighborhood

The smirk.
The smirk.
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

In Berlin, Germany, a fox has embarked on a crime spree that puts Dora the Explorer’s Swiper completely to shame.

CNN-News18 reports that residents of Zehlendorf, a locality in southeastern Berlin, spent weeks scratching their heads as shoes continued to disappear from their stoops and patios overnight. After posting about the mystery on a neighborhood watch site and reading accounts from various bewildered barefooters, a local named Christian Meyer began to think the thief might be a fox.

He was right. Meyer caught sight of the roguish robber with a mouthful of flip-flop and followed him to a field, where he found more than 100 stolen shoes. The fox appears to have an affinity for Crocs, but the cache also contained sandals, sneakers, a pair of rubber boots, and one black ballet flat, among other footwear. Unfortunately, according to BBC News, Meyer’s own vanished running shoe was nowhere to be seen.

Foxes are known for their playfulness, and it’s not uncommon for one to trot off with an item left unattended in a yard. Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife explains that foxes are drawn to “things that smell good,” which, to a fox, includes dog toys, balls, gardening gloves, and worn shoes. And if your former cat’s backyard gravesite is suddenly empty one day, you can probably blame a fox for that, too; they bury their own food to eat later, so a deceased pet is basically a free meal.

The fate of Zehlendorf’s furriest burglar remains unclear, but The Cut’s Amanda Arnold has a radical idea: that the residents simply let the fox keep what is obviously a well-curated collection.

[h/t CNN-News18]