Limiting Pet Store Sales in Chicago on WGN Radio
Pet store sales is the topic I talk about HERE on WGN Radio with King John Williams. Always, John challenges and shoots tough questions. However, who could ever support puppy mills? The answer is Alderman Ray Lopez (15th ward), as I explained in this post.
In 2015 Chicago passed an ordinance to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores. I tell John why this ban was put into place, which now about 400 cities, many counties and three entire states have done.
John refers to the excellent story in theChicago Tribune story by Stacy St.Clair and Christy Gutowski regarding Lopez flip flopping on this issue. In the story, they offer ideas about why this flip flop has occurred.
I explain the current ordinance and how from immediately after it was passed three pet stores found a loophole in the wording. Chicago Tribune investigative piece told the story of how the sources of these dogs filled out paperwork to call themselves non-profit rescues. Puppy mills as rescues? This loophole has allowed pet stores to sell dogs which they maintain are rescued dogs, and for thousands of dollars. Isn’t this a violation of the obvious intent of the ordinance? How can any Alderman support that?
But John wonders about people who want a so-called designer dog or a pure bred dog, where do you get one? Well, you can get one and without going to a pet store. You can support responsible breeders; you can find a rescue in any breed or legit websites like petfinder.com. I offer additional ideas here.
And for those who say, but that place you’re calling a puppy mill was United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected, I explain that first the inspection may have happened long ago as the USDA and state departments of agriculture are perpetually behind on inspections. Also, the Trump administration has made some of those inspections very difficult to read, with little transparency.
The biggest issue are the standards which they are using to inspect; they are antiquated. There are now numerous examples of puppy mill raids by law enforcement and it’s all on the video. Clearly the places are just awful, as law enforcement need to enter with gas masks because the urine and feces smells are so overwhelming. How can places like this pass inspection? Good question, but some do.
If you live in Chicago, simply contact your Alderman and express your support of Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd ward) support to close the loophole in the current ordinance.
Ald. Lopez and others say they don’t like the idea of preventing pet stores from selling puppies or kittens because that’ll force the stores to go out of business. One example is Naperville’s oldest pet store, Dog Patch Pet and Feed. Several years ago, they sold puppies but decided (long before Naperville banned puppy sales at pet stores) to adopt from legit shelters instead. Of course, pet superstores, Petco, Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus have never sold dogs or cats.
One listener put it very well, “Shame on these pet stores (that sell dogs and cats). And when you study the issue and peel back the onion, the stinkier it gets.”