County planning stricter pet laws

FONDA – After the recent rescue of more than 50 dogs from a breeding facility in Sprakers, Montgomery County legislators are hashing out plans to make local animal laws stricter.

On Jan. 10, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law proposed by Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, authorizing municipal governments to enact more stringent laws for regulating and licensing pet dealers.

District 3 Legislator Roy Dimond said he wants to take advantage of the new law. He told the legislature Tuesday night that he’s working with an attorney from the Lexus project, which is the legal defense team that helped save the dogs from the Flat Creek Border Collie breeding operation in Sprakers.

“I want to get some information together for the [Legislature’s] Education and Government Committee so that at some point we can pass a local law that hopefully bans puppy mills from Montgomery County because this issue is very near and dear to my heart,” Dimond said.

Dimond said he wants to strengthen the law by adding specific details like what’s considered proper shelter for an animal, so that they know what’s adequate for their pet.

“This is so that our law has some teeth,” Dimond said. “So that they know going in that this is what to expect.”

County Executive Matt Ossenfort also spoke up at the meeting and said he’s spoken to District 1 Legislator Martin Kelly about creating an animal welfare investigation and cruelty prevention committee.

“I think you’re discussing one piece of [the issue],” Ossenfort said to Dimond. “I think a comprehensive package where the work can be done by a committee that includes law enforcement, a small animal veterinarian, a large animal veterinarian and interested residents of the county is what we need.”

Ossenfort said that if the county can work together and take big steps forward they’ll be able to help resolve the issue.