Cook County Plans to Take Up Pet Store Ban


Chicago banned the retail sale of dog, cats and rabbits at pet stores (except for non-profits, who can adopt the animals in pet stores). Cook County will now follow, at least that seems quite likely due to a proposal introduced by Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey. The proposal is similar to a ban passed in Chicago in March, called  The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection ordinance, and would affect at least 13 pet stores in the county, beyond the 16 or so in the city that already are impacted by the City ordinance.

The Puppy Mill Project is behind the initiative, but not much prodding was required. I know Fritchey – who has a long history of having a passion regarding animal welfare issues, proactively suggested this is the right thing to do. And Fritchey’s timing couldn’t be better. Once the ordinance in the City was passed, some feared that at least a few of the City pet stores – soon to be illegal if they continue to sell dogs, cats or rabbits – would migrate to the suburbs. Now, they’ll have to go beyond Cook County.

According to printed reports and personal conversations I know Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, a lobbying organization for pet stores, and the American Pet Products Association (APPA) are opposed to these laws and ordinances restricting sales of some animals at pet stores. These groups suggest these laws, increasingly implemented in cities around the country, don’t do what they claim to do. I suggest these two organizations and the pet store industry have brought this on themselves by allowing – even encouraging – puppy mills and poor commercial facilities to predominate pet store sales without doing anything about it decade after decade. Now, pet owners and groups like the Puppy Mill Project are saying “enough is enough.” And I agree with that sentiment.

The truth is at according APPA’s own data from to the 2013-2014 American Pet Product Association Pet Owners Survey, only three percent of dogs are purchased from pet stores, but that still represents thousands of animals. Only one percent of cats are purchased from pet stores, and seven percent of rabbits. This means their own membership increasingly wants nothing to  selling dogs from puppy mills, and/or caring for dogs, cats and rabbits in a pet store setting.

Since the industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture won’t do anything about the horrors of puppy mills, the public has had it!

More about why it’s a good idea to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits.