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The Next City to Ban the Sale of Puppy Mill Puppies

The Next City to Ban the Sale of Puppy Mill Puppies

An effort to improve pet health and reduce the number of innocent animals being killed every year could make Chicago next on the list of cities that have stopped peddling puppy mill puppies.

The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance was introduced by Chicago City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza and a coalition of aldermen and is intended to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats in the city unless they come from public or private rescues and shelters.

“We pay dearly for failing to curb the sale of puppy mill animals. This legislation is going to save the lives of dogs and cats and spare pet owners the heartache and cost of bringing a sick animal into their home. Also, I’m happy to say that this addresses a big challenge the City faces in terms of finding resources to care for strays and abandoned animals,” Mendoza said in astatement.

A retail pet store that continues to sell dogs sourced from puppy mills could be fined $100 to $1,000 for each offense.

The move has garnered strong support from the public and a coalition of businesses and organizations, but it might be too full of common sense for some. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) released a statement opposing it and wants to see more public education to address the problem. One of the CVMA’s arguments is that people want purebreds and they won’t look to shelters or rescues to find them.

However, the Illinois-based Puppy Mill Project offered a different take that highlights the need to take immediate action to stop treating puppies like products and to stop allowing animals to be killed while pet stores continue to support the mass breeding of dogs.

“About 25 percent of the animals that come into CACC are pure breeds and there is such a wide range in age and breeds that come in the door,” said Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. “This is a win-win situation because it opens the door for many more animals to be rescued. It also stops providing an outlet in Chicago for the sale of puppy mill dogs.”

According to the group, over 19,000 animals came into Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) the city’s animal control facility in 2012, while 7,653 of those animals (39 percent) were euthanized. According to the ordinance, that cost the city an estimated $199,124 $251,384.

Even with the state’s Pet Disclosure Act, which requires pet stores to post breeding information, people still don’t know where these animals are really coming from. Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mill Campaign for the HSUS, told the Columbia Chronicle that, “If [storeowners] told consumers the truth about where they buy their dogs, the consumers would not buy dogs.”

An undercover investigation of Chicago-area pet stores conducted by the HSUS in 2012 exposed a number of problems, including pet store employees lying to consumers about not having obtained dogs from puppy mills and many doing business with breeders that had multiple and significant animal welfare violations.

If the ordinance becomes a law, Chicago will be joining more than 40 other major cities, like Los Angeles, that have taken steps to stop the cruelty associated with commercial breeding.

Collar and Leash, Chicago’s oldest pet store, already made the switch to a humane business model last March and started working with rescues, including those who focus on specific breeds, to help find animals forever homes through the store. Sonja Raymond, the store’s owner, said “this is not just about not selling puppies anymore, but about community wellness and awareness as well.”

There will be a hearing on February 26 to determine whether or not this ordinance will become a law in Chicago.


Please sign and share the petition supporting the effort in Chicago to crack down on puppy mills.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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9:38PM PST on Feb 16, 2015

thanks for sharing :)

10:29AM PDT on Mar 10, 2014

Thank you.

4:47AM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Great news!

8:40AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Signed, Thanks again.

12:13AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

BAN these unethical Puppy Mills and show the world that you care about the sentient beings too. Killing unnecessarily those innocent animals are a practice of uncivilized & barbaric.

6:36AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

kudos, but don't forget the kitten mills...

12:37AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

puppy mills should be banned and made illegal.

10:40AM PST on Feb 27, 2014

If people "insist" on having purebred dogs and cats, fine. But force every breeder to have a license from the state, monthly inspections with teeth in them for a change, enforced regular vet care for these animals and the second infraction, permanently costs the breeder their license. No puppy mills at all but an open, organized, licensed operation. I don't understand why this is so hard for the states. It most assuredly would remove a lot of animals from the hell they live in now.

8:37AM PST on Feb 27, 2014

Signed. Ban all puppy mills!

8:09AM PST on Feb 27, 2014

NYC passed the puppy mill law on February 14th. I already called my local council person, Jimmy Van Bramer, and spoke with Andres, their local constituent outreach associate (mouthful) and he said that the law has to be in affect for 60 days before they can start enforcing it. Starting April 15th, I am going to start targeting obvious puppy mill stores.

I already have a list of pet stores and the breeders they buy from. My initial target store, US Pets on Steinway in Astoria / Queens, NYC. The owner is a former ACC employee who is the most soulless man I have ever met. The place has a permanently going out of business sign on it and looks like discount animals. He is getting 1 stars on Yelp and I personally know a handful of dogs from his shop and 1 / 3 of them were sick. I also have my eye on several Puppy Palaces in Queens, who I have called and they confirm they are buying puppies from MISSOURI and the Mid-west.

Puppy mills + pet stores = sex trafficking of companion animals. These evil, greedy bastards basically kidnap these animals, hold them hostage in a dark room, rape them repeatedly and when no good for them anymore, they shoot them in the head or worse, sell them to a b grade dealer who sells them for research.

First I would cry about and now I am really angry. We have to shut this shit down .. now!! Start calling and e-mailing our local government and city council and tell them to close the pet stores in your neighborhood. Call once a week un

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