Riverhead, NY - October 15, 2013 - This week, the Suffolk County Pet Store Rating Board is officially inviting the pet stores of Suffolk County to voluntarily join the Pet Store Rating Program! Sitting alongside Suffolk County Legislator William R. Spencer, M.D., the Board’s chair, Ms. Sara Davison of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, took pen to paper and signed the letters of formal invitation.
“As I sit here, I would once again encourage the pet stores of Suffolk County to join this great program,” said Legislator Spencer. “Now that the Pet Store Rating Board has codified its rules and procedures and once the county 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.”
The Pet Store Rating Program was part of legislation passed at the end of 2011 by the Suffolk County Legislature, with the effort led by former Legislator Jon Cooper. Known officially as the “Puppy and Dog Protection Rating Program,” the legislation mandated that criteria be developed and used by the Rating Board to review pet stores in Suffolk County and reassure the public that those stores are safe and protect the well-being of any animals being offered for sale. In addition, the Board ensures that the animals being offered for sale to the public are healthy and fit to be adopted by a loving family.
“The Board is hoping that this effort will educate the public about the practices of the pet stores in Suffolk County,” said Sara Davison. “Our Board is looking forward to getting to work and we are honored to be working with the support of Legislator Spencer.”
Members of the Pet Store Rating Board are animal experts who have a great deal of experience in taking proper care of cats and dogs. They know what to look for in a healthy animal and what it takes to provide proper care. From representatives of animal welfare organizations to veterinarians with medical expertise, members of the Board will be able to conclusively determine that the animals of the County’s pet stores are properly taken care of. If not, depending on the severity of the condition of the issues found, stores will have a 30-day window of opportunity to fix their problems and get an approval from the Board.
Once pet stores are found to meet the appropriate standards of care that were set out by the rating criteria, the store would be issued a certificate to display that will be valid for one calendar year from the date it was issued. It will certify that the Pet Store Rating Board has inspected the store and offer official reassurance to the public that it provides proper care for the pets they are offering for sale.