Pet Shops Rule (New Chapter 5 in Title 24 of the RCNY)

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose


Statutory Authority

Section 556 of the New York City Charter (“Charter”) authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“Department”) to regulate all matters pertaining to the health of the City, and Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. Moreover, Local Laws 5, 7 and 8 of 2015, as amended by Local Laws 53 and 55 of 2015, added a new Chapter 17 and amended Chapters 3 and 8 of Title 17 of the Administrative Code regarding the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops. The Department is authorized to promulgate rules necessary for implementation of these local laws.


As a result of the local laws cited above, the Administrative Code now requires that pet shops selling dogs or cats acquire them only from holders of the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Class A licenses. Additionally, pet shops must document and maintain information about the sources, sales, health and breeding histories of the dogs and cats they sell. The shops must sterilize dogs and cats that are at least eight weeks old and two pounds in weight, and implant microchips into such animals prior to their being sold.

The Department is now adding a new Chapter 5 to its rules (codified at Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York) to implement these recently enacted provisions of the Administrative Code.

In compliance with §§1043(a) and 389(b) of the Charter, a notice of public hearing and notice of intent to add a new Chapter 5 (“Pet Shops”) to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York were initially published in the City Record on January 31, 2017, and a public hearing was held on March 2, 2017. No written comments were received and no individuals testified at the hearing.

Subsequent to the public hearing, however, the Department decided to revise the proposal because relevant information regarding Class A licensees has been removed from the USDA website.  As a result, the proposal has been revised to clarify the means of complying with Administrative Code §§17-1702(a) and 17-1703.

The revised proposed amended rules were published in the City Record on November 8, 2017, and a public hearing on was held on December 11, 2017.

In response to comments received, the Department has further revised the amendment to address concerns about the timing of affidavits required to be provided to pet shops by breeders and the methods by which the pet shops obtain USDA reports. The Department has also made other changes to clarify the means of complying with Chapter 17 of the Administrative Code.

Amendments Adopted

To implement the recordkeeping and consumer disclosure requirements of the Administrative Code, the rules require pet shops to collect and maintain required information, and to provide it to prospective purchasers as mandated, using forms provided by the Department to the extent applicable. The forms are listed on the checklist below. Requiring standardized forms promotes compliance by assuring that pet shops completing the documents will have collected all of the information required by the Administrative Code, and facilitates Department review and pet owners’ understanding of records.

The Administrative Code directs the Department to set fees that a pet shop may collect for providing prospective purchasers with USDA inspection reports. These rules set nominal copying fees of up to $.25 per page.

To enable the Department to promptly issue dog license tags to people purchasing dogs at pet shops, the rules require that a pet shop submit any dog license application completed in paper copy to the Department within 10 business days of the sale. Pet shops enrolled in the Department’s online dog licensing system can avoid this paperwork.

Dogs and cats offered for adoption at pet shops by permitted animal shelters and incorporated not-for-profit animal rescue groups are not subject to these new laws to the extent that they are registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and are exempted from the definition of “pet dealer” set forth in New York State Agriculture and Markets Law § 400.4. To assist enforcement officers in determining when this is the case, the rules require pet shops to maintain, on site and available for inspection, a copy of the animal shelter’s permit issued by the Department or the rescue group’s proof of not-for-profit status, and such registration and exemption, at any time such organizations are using the pet shop’s space.

Moreover, the requirements of the new laws do not apply to breeders that sell or offer to sell cats and dogs directly to the public, as long as such breeders sell or offer to sell fewer than a total of 25 dogs and cats per calendar year, and such animals are all born and raised on the breeder’s residential premises and sold directly from such premises.

Finally, the law establishes penalties of $500 per violation per day, enforceable by officers and agents of the Department and officers of the New York City Police Department.

Below is a summary checklist of the documents that satisfy the requirements of the rule.


Checklist of Required Documents


DOHMH Form Number


Recordkeeping, Subject to Inspection

(Maintain for 5 years unless otherwise noted)

Provide to Purchaser

USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

201-D-USDA 7001

Form 7001

201-D-USDA 7006

Form 7006



Copy of source’s USDA APHIS inspection reports from last 3 years

NYS Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry

204-D-AGMKT-Form A

Veterinary Health Certificate

Pet shop to keep original


205-D-AGMKT-Form C


206-D-AGMKT-Form E

Information Statement

207-D-AGMKT-Form H

Pedigree (for animal capable of being registered)

(if applicable)

(if applicable)

208-D-AGMKT-Form I

Consumer Rights/NYS Article 35-D

New York City-Only Documents

209-D-VPHS-Purchaser Statement

Purchaser Statement

Maintain statement for 10 years and attachments for 5 years


Microchip usage instructions provided by the manufacturer or registration company


Sterilization Certification

(Record from the veterinarian of sterilization procedure performed on dog or cat)


Receipt log showing sale of dog license (if the pet shop does not use the online dog license system and the dog will live in NYC) 


213-D-VPHS-Source Affidavit

Affidavit from source



Self-inspection of Animal Holding Facilities


203-D-AGMKT-Vet Care Plan

Veterinary Care Plan



Pet Shop statement regarding diligent check of the USDA website