A pair of identical bills in Illinois (one for the House another for the Senate) would prevent communities in Illinois from banning sales of dogs and cats. The laws would also reverse ordinances limiting pet store sales already passed in Chicago, Warrenville, Waukegan and Cook County.
According to a newly released – and very well written – Chicago Tribune editorial, this bill is accurately discussed as:
“a backdoor pass for puppy mills — and an inappropriate and indefensible denial of home rule authority.”
Indeed NO responsible breeder EVER sells to a pet store. Period.
At this point, the hope is that this is common knowledge. But it’s not. Legislators and the public may simply not know what we inside animal welfare have understood for decades. Responsible breeders want to know who will buy their carefully bred pets, and that can not ever happen via a pet store sale. In fact, horrific mills and also commercial facilities actually broker their animals through third and fourth parties. By the time a pet store sale happens, the original breeder (if you call a puppy mill a breeder, which I do not) is several individuals away.
Because of the large numbers of residents signing a petition to oppose the bills, and a long long list of animal welfare groups and others in opposition, the bill was not heard as scheduled last week. They may still be heard this coming week. Please continue to demonstrate your opposition:
So, who would be FOR such a bill which offers puppy mills an unhindered back door? The group behind this bill is a coalition that interestingly calls itself the Illinois Pet Lover’s Association (IPLA). This includes, American Kennel Club, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA), Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs & Owners, and I have reason to believe other players who benefit from pet stores that sell dogs and cats.
I personally don’t believe most Illinois veterinarians agree with their association on this. Many veterinarians have contacted me, and some have added their names to the growing numbers on Facebook of Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills. I can’t explain why the ISVMA is supportive, but this personally saddens me because I know individually how caring veterinarians are.
Others in opposition of the bill the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Puppy Mill Project, Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society. Of course, I am opposed. As mentioned nearly every animal welfare group and animal control group in Illinois has also expressed opposition.
The Tribune editorial also indicates, “The statewide rules that would supersede the local ordinances would do little to ensure that pets come from reputable breeders. They’d require pet store operators to check the breeder’s latest inspection report posted online by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA doesn’t have the resources to inspect dog breeders adequately and doesn’t currently maintain an online search tool anyway, but never mind: If the report is unavailable, the bill says, the pet store operator is off the hook. So the puppy mills would be back in business in Chicago and Cook County, regardless of what the locals want.”
So, what can you do if you live in Illinois?
- Contact your veterinarian and make your vet aware that the very association the veterinarian is presumably being represented by is seemingly supportive of puppy mills.
- Contact your state senator and your state representative. Locate your State Senator and State Representative on the Board of Elections website.
- “Like” the Facebook page Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills
- Simply share this post with others.