In 2014 the Chicago Companion Animal and Consumer Protection law was passed one vote short unanimously, led by efforts of the non-profit Puppy Mill Project and led legislatively by animal-loving Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza.
Despite efforts to derail the law in court, it still stands. However, the ordinance – ’till now – has not been enforced.
Here’s what I know: No responsible breeder will ever sell to a pet store.
I also know puppy mills continue to thrive. There are two reasons for this:
- Most consumers still don’t understand that the “innocent” pet store selling dogs or cats (sometimes rabbits as well) isn’t so innocent. The animals are likely from puppy mills.
- Online many sites have flashy looking websites – even some who say they are ‘non-profit rescues’ may be puppy mills.
With this in mind, Chicago and about 100 other cities in the U.S. and Canada have shut down the pet store supply, making it illegal to purchase a dog, cat (and in some municipalities rabbits) from a pet store.
In Chicago, a few pet stores responded to the ordinance by feeling to the suburbs (and Cook County responded, led by Commissioner John Fritchey passrd a law similar to Chicago’s banning pet store sales of dogs, cats, rabbits), and at least one Chicago pet store departed for Indiana.
A few pet stores went out (presumably they were struggling anyway). And a few pet stores are flaunting the law. This is where you come in.
If you witness a pet store selling dogs, cats or rabbit – follow these three easy steps:
1) Call 3-1-1.
2) Write down the case number
3) Email email@example.com and share that case number so if can be tracked.
If you want, return to the pet store the following week, and report again – as many times as it takes.
Make no mistake, I am not for closing down pet stores, just for the closing of puppy mills. There are many pet stores across the country that legitimately adopt animals – from the pet super stores to Dog Patch Pet and Feed in Naperville. I also wouldn’t be opposed to pet stores showcasing responsible breeders and their breeds.
There aren’t many cities where a law or ordinance is passed, and it’s just ignored (at least by some), but we can do something about that!
And please share this post with Chicago residents.