(WBNG Binghamton) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking steps to prevent animal abuse and neglect in the state, and now he's giving more power to municipalities.
Cuomo signed on Friday legislation, known as the "puppy mill bill," that is intended to strengthen oversight of pet dealers.
Cuomo said the existing state law will be upheld, but this new piece gives individual municipalities the ability to create their own laws for pet dealers and puppy mills.
It's something the Broome County Humane Society says it's a huge milestone in protecting animals.
"There are puppy mills and then there are reputable puppy breeders, and there are people out there breeding dogs responsibly and there are people breeding dogs with the mighty dollar in mind. It's basically identifying where the gaps are and where the weaknesses are," said Executive Director of the Broome County Humane Society Karen Matson.
This will crack down on puppy mills and bad breeders who fail to care for their cats or dogs, Matson said.
The state says this will keep a closer eye on all breeders and stop inhumane practices.
"People need to understand that pets are forever," Matson said. "And there are a lot of homeless and unwanted pets as there is, so this will help bring to light some of the weaknesses that are in the community, help pet dealers and help breeders understand that we're dealing with lives here."
According to the new law, individual ordinances must be as strict as the state law and cannot lead to the ban of selling dogs and cats that are raised in a safe and healthy way.