Riverhead (WALK) - Pet shops in Suffolk are being asked to take part in a voluntary inspection program that is now under way in the county, to reassure consumers that the stores protect the well-being of animals being offered for sale.
Letters inviting pet shops to participate were sent out this week by Sara Davison of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (at right in photo), who chairs the Suffolk County Pet Store Rating Board, which administers the county's new Puppy and Dog Protection Rating Program. The program was established by a law passed in late 2011 that mandates that criteria be developed and used by the Rating Board to review local pet stores.
“The Board is hoping that this effort will educate the public about the practices of the pet stores in Suffolk County,” said Davison.
Davison was joined by Suffolk Legislator William Spencer, MD, who encourages pet shops to voluntarily take part in the new program.
"Once pet stores have been rated, we will be able to say to potential pet owners: these are the practices of the pet stores in Suffolk County and this is how they stack up against each other," said Spencer (at left in photo).
To receive certification, pet shops must agree to an inspection, during which the board will establish whether or not the store is meeting appropriate standards of care. Inspectors will be looking to see that animals being offered for sale to the public are healthy and fit to be adopted.
If standards are met, the store will receive a certificate that will be valid for one calendar year from the date of issue, and which they can put on display for customers to see. If standards are not met, stores wil be given 30 days to fix their problems and still get an approval rating, depending on the severity of the conditions found.
Photo: Suffolk Legislature