HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State’s legislative session ended last week, and with it passed the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill, a law that prevents pet stores from selling dogs who come from Puppy Mills.

This bill’s passage has been a long time coming for advocates across the state. Those advocates include dog rescue organizations and animal rights groups, but it also includes two middle schoolers from right here in our area.

Lisa Jackson co-founded Puppy Mill Rescue Team, a nonprofit organization out of Brockport that rescues dogs from puppy mills and finds them new homes. She has been fighting for the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill for years.

“I was overjoyed and I couldn’t wait to spread that on social media letting people know, ‘Look, look what we did!’” Jackson said. “It was important enough that I didn’t want to lose sight of it and I wanted to be a strong advocate and talk about it as much as I could and make people understand. It was so clear that our community wants this. I think that there is a lot of support for it and just getting the government to listen and follow through and do what the people ask for, it was a long journey but I think it worked.”

Now that the bill has passed, Jackson said it won’t fix the problem completely but it will force the consumer to find out where their new pet is coming from and possibly encourage puppy mills to shut down now that their biggest client has been taken away.

“Retail pet stores do source their animals from puppy mills. Reputable breeders do not bring their animals to retail stores to be sold. They want to know where their animals are going. They want to meet the owner. Puppy Mills exist because of supply and demand,” Jack said.

Advocates say the bill won’t solve the problem completely but it is a step in the right direction, including two middle schoolers from Hilton who are on a mission to end animal cruelty across New York.

“I just started jumping up and down, running around the house calling my friends telling them that we did it,” Streb said.

13-year-olds Joey Nowacki and Cooper Streb created a petition in support of the bill and in just a few months managed to get over 1500 signatures.

“We spread it around our schools, to our peers, our teachers, principals,” said Nowacki.

“Joey and I told them they could repost it on Twitter or social media, any website they could get their hands on,” said Streb.

Despite mills still being legal in the state, advocates argue the baseline requirements for those breeders are inhumane.

“No dog should have to go through this and no human should be making a dog go through this,” said Nowacki.

The Merton William Middle School students recognize they are part of a massive effort to get the bill passed and they say they’re not done yet.

“We did something very big but that’s not the end of it. We’re still going to move forward and keep on trying to shut them down for good,” Streb said.

Nowacki and Streb say Ohio is one of the states with the most Puppy Mills nationwide, so their next mission is to get a bill similar to New York’s passed there as well.

New York’s bill is waiting to be sent and signed by the governor. The law will officially go into effect one year after it’s signed.