Ban On Dog Shock Collar Sales Proposed In State

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-New York City, is pictured at far right during a news conference urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign legislation banning puppy mills in New York state. Rosenthal has also introduced legislation that would ban the sale of shock collars for dogs in New York state. Submitted photo

Shock collars for dogs may soon be a thing of the past in New York state.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-New York City, has introduced A.10700 to ban the sale of the devices. Shock collars send an electric current through contact points in the collar into a dog’s neck in an attempt to curb excessive barking, jumping or other unwanted behaviors.

Rosenthal noted that other countries have already banned shock collars, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany.

“This legislation would make New York state the first in the nation to ban the sale of electric shock dog collars,” Rosenthal wrote in her legislative memorandum.

Petco stopped selling shock collars both in its stores and online in 2020, the first major pet products chain to do so. According to CNN Business, the collars had accounted for roughly $10 million in annual sales for Petco.

The company cited a 2020 survey by Edelman Intelligence that showed increasing concerns pet owners had with shock collars, including 70% of dog owners who said they felt shock collars had a negative impact on their pet’s emotional or mental well-being. Another 69% of dog owners considered shock collars a cruel training method while 71% of dog owners said there should be limitations on the retail sale of shock collars to prevent human error or abuse. More than half of poll respondents (51%) said shock collars should only really be used by professionally trained dog trainers.

“Electricity may be critical to powering your microwave, but it has no role for the average pet parent training their dog,” said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin when announcing the company’s decision. “Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs, and we believe there’s a better way — positive reinforcement training. As a health and wellness company, our mission is focused on improving pet lives and we think selling shock collars does the opposite. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we, and others, aren’t putting potentially harmful products in the wrong hands.”

Rosenthal is also pushing Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign legislation (A.4823/S.1130) that would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores statewide. The legislation, once it is signed into law, will prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits, and will instead allow them to make space available to show animals that are available for adoption. There are around 60 pet stores that sell live animals in operation in New York, with 20 more having closed within the last two years.


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