BELLMORE - The Town of Hempstead has proposed a bill that would require more living space for animals at pet shops.

The legislation would force shops to provide at least 25 square feet of space for each dog on display. Its goal would be to protect the animals from being in small, cramped cages, which can be unhealthy.

Beverly Cunningham, a pet shop sales associate and animal lover, says she disagrees with the part of the bill which states that pet shops would be required to spay and neuter all animals before they are sold.

Town Supervisor Kate Murray says the law is intended to ensure the best quality of life for each animal.

"If you're going to be in the business of selling dogs and cats... they need certain protections and we believe that this legislation does just that," Murray says.

The bill also requires pet shop owners to install sprinklers and fire alarms in their stores, and to get their dogs from state-licensed breeders.

A public meeting to discuss the bill is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Nathan Bennett Pavilion in Hempstead.