Buying cats, dogs and rabbits at stores like PetSmart and PetCo may be a thing of the past if a bill currently on Governor Hochul's desk gets signed.

A new bill that's targeted at eliminating puppy mills passed the state legislature this week and is now sitting on the Governor's desk. Animal rights groups have been pushing for the bill, which they say would send a serious blow to breeders who sell directly to retailers.

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CBS 6 talked to Patricia Valusek, the President of the New York State humane association. She's hoping the Governor will sign the bill.

It's the correct thing to do for both the unfortunate animals who have been in these puppy mills and for the shelters who need help re-home animals who are already homeless and looking for a loving home.

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The bill would prohibit retail stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits. It will also require pet stores to provide an area to showcase animals available for adoption through shelters and non-profits.

However, there is some push back from the retail pet industry. In a statement to CBS 6, Jessica Selmer from People United to Protect Pet Integrity says the new law could devastate the pet store industry:

We feel disappointed in the forward movement of this bill - which would have a range of unintended consequences, from the unemployment of thousands of pet store workers and empty storefronts to increased discrimination of people trying to create loving homes for pets.

If signed, the bill would give retail pet stores one year to make arrangements in complying with the new rules.  

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