Amending Ban on Pet Store Sales of Dogs, Cats, Rabbits on WGN


Puppy mills are not a good thing. FACT.

Many dogs sold at pet stores are from puppy mills, others are from commercial facilities that mass produce dogs. FACT

Purchases made at pet stores are impulsive, and unlike a private breeder or animal shelter or rescue, – which wants to insure you are the right family for that pet – pet stores only ask “will that be cash or credit?” FACT

Most pet stores don’t even sell dogs, cats or rabbits because they have ethical concerns, or feel it’s “not worth” the effort for the dollars gained FACT

Earlier in the year, Chicago Aldermen voted 49 to 1 to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in Chicago  The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection ordinance. Cook County quickly followed with a similar law championed by Commissioner John Fritchey, and forwarded and promoted by the non-profit Puppy Mill Project.

So, why would anyone not be in favor of preventing sales of  dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores?

I will ask Cook County Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy on WGN Radio, Sunday May 25 at 2:05 p.m. (CDT) with Bill Moller. Murphy and two other commissioners (Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Gregg Goslin) are seeking to amend or repeal the law passed the Commissioners to ban in-store sales of dogs, cats and rabbits. I hope to find out why the world they’ve want to do that, listen at 720 AM or HERE.

What’s so confusing to me is that I know Murphy, and  I believe she cares a great deal about companion animals. And Gorman and Goslin maintain they are animal lovers.

Of course, there are pet stores in these three districts.


And the pet store lobbying organization, backed by major dollars, has been pressuring the commissioners.

One alternative law being considered might allow dogs to be sold in pet stores that are  from facilities which haven’t been fined in the past two years. Unfortunately,  that means nothing since the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t visit all facilities that often. Also, what if a puppy mill does pass – it does happen because the standards the Department of Ag uses to inspect are so minimal. Is there then a suggestion that there  good puppy mills?

Another option might be to allow the industry to police itself….Well, if it had done that decades ago, then  we wouldn’t be dealing with puppy mills in the first place.

Of course, animals have no say so – and one explanation for not allowing the market to drive this – is that animals are suffering as a result, and have been for many years. MANY pet store owners (privately owned pet stores) have told me that they would NEVER sell dogs, cats or rabbits due to the myriad of ethical reasons. And the overwhelming majority of pet stores don’t even dabble selling dogs, cats or rabbits. It’s not the majority of pet stores that are driving this fight, it’s the Pet Joint Advisory Council; they represent super-sized commercial facilities with a whole lot of money.

One alternative approach is for pet stores to work with a shelter or rescue and adopt animals. And the law to ban sales of dogs, cats or rabbits has nothing whatsoever to do with private breeders, who actually would benefit.

An argument made by some is that there are ways around the law – such as using the Internet, going online where unscrupulous folks sell animals. Of course, animals can be sold online, but’s not quite as easy to do as it once was, and the government is looking at ways to further control this. Either way, good laws should be passed because they are good laws and do the right thing. Good laws are not avoided because someone might find a way around them….We have speed laws, though people can buy devices to determine if there are police nearby.

And to some extent, aren’t public officials supposed to work for the voters? When the Cook County Commissioners and before that the City of Chicago first considered banning sales dogs, cats and rabbits – the public overwhelmingly responded in favor – from veterinary professionals and dog trainers who work with pets (and see the sad results of many animals sold  at stores) to pet owners, and even non pet owners. Shouldn’t public sentiment count for something?

But most of all for me, it’s what’s best for the animals.

By the way, feel free to chime in….call WGN when the Commissioner is on 312-981-7200 or text 24/720.