Illinois Seeks to Ban Sales of Dogs and Cats at Pet Stores State-Wide


(Image from Marc Ayers)

Illinois Rep. Andrew Chesney (89th District) is responsible for a bill in the House (HB1711) to ban sales of dogs and cats at pet retail stores. Listen HERE as we discuss the issue on my Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show, WGN Radio.

Rep. Chesney offers his personal puppy story, regarding what made him aware of this issue in the first place. The puppy store business, regarding how they treat animals, shocked him, he says.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents should be together on this issue, he adds.

“Their current business model is dependent on taking advantage of consumers and hurting animals. And this needs to change.”

If you ask a pet store selling a dog, “Where is that dog from?” Try to get a straight answer. When a Chicago Tribune investigative report managed to learn where Chicago pet stores were getting dogs, tracking wasn’t easy because there are secret brokers but ultimate sources proved to be out of the state of Illinois puppy mills. Supporting pet store sales of dogs and cats supports puppy mills.

We talk a bit about the oddity that the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and Illinois State Veterinary Association oppose laws that ban sales of dogs/cats at pet stores. Among their defenses: Consumer choice, and limiting where people can purchase dogs and cats prevents pets from getting into homes. But that’s just not the case. For example, Maine, Maryland and California ban sales of dogs/cats at pet stores state-wide and there is no issue whatsoever about people in those states finding pets. In fact, pet ownership appears to be on the rise in these places.

Rep. Andrew Chesney

Rep. Chesney says being a Republican, he’s ALL for free choice for businesses, but not when those business are treating animals inhumanely.

I suggest the vast majority of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and nurses, and veterinary students do NOT want to see dogs and cats sold at pet stores, which is why we created Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills. Contact your own veterinarian and tell them how you feel (if you live in Illinois) regarding their association leadership. A significant number of veterinary professionals have dropped out of the Illinois associations as a result of their positions.  You want bipartisan, this is it! Chesney says if you agree, also contact the Governor’s office.

In Chicago pet stores – even though they are receiving citations, continue to evade the law.

Two Bills: One is To Prevent Sales and the Second Is About Consumer Protection

A separate bill (HB 572) is all about consumer protection. Installment loans to purchase the dogs  (if you can’t afford the say $2,000 or more for the dog right then and there) pe stores charge interest rates which exceed over 100 percent and they throw in for more money a not-so-consumer-friendly health package. So the $2,000 dog is really a $15,000 dog a couple of years later. Isn’t that crazy? This should never have legal been in the first place. Chesney again points out that as a Republican and he’s all about consumer choice, but people do need some common sense protections, and not to be preyed upon.