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Illinois Supports Puppy Mills? Can That Be?


I wish there was a polite was to say this, but there’s a bill in Illinois that is actually in support of puppy mills.

Really, I am not trying to be exploitative (though I could easily go there), but any bill that supports pet stores selling dogs and cats is really supporting the places where they get these animals from.

Being able to take this photo in 2017 should never be - responsible breeders NEVER sell to pet stores

This photo shouldn’t even be possible in 2017. Responsible breeders NEVER sell to pet stores.

Here’s the wording of the bill: HB2824, And, there’s an identical bill in the senate.

The bill is being sold to legislators as a microchip bill. It is that, but it’s also about allowing any community in the state to sell dogs and cats without allowing local government in any Illinois city to prohibit or limit pet store sales. In Illinois, Chicago, Waukegan, and Warrenville have already passed  ordinances (as did Cook County) to prohibit pet store sales of dogs and cats (and rabbits in some places), and, according to the bills, these ordinances will be rolled back, denying home rule.

Politics aside, it means pet stores will have free reign to sell animals sourced from puppy mills. Democrat or republican, it shouldn’t matter. This is abhorrent.Pet expert Steve Dale writes about legislation in Illinois supporting puppy mills

Pet expert Steve Dale writes about legislation in Illinois supporting puppy millsThe group behind this puppy mill supporting bill is a coalition that interestingly calls itself the Illinois Pet Lover’s Association (IPLA), as if that adoring name will fool people. They’ve apparently, so far, fooled some legislators, who I believe truly feel they signed a good bill regarding mircochipping. But it’s not really that: The fact is, in Illinois, microchipping has already long been required by law for most animals because any dog or cat adopted from a shelter or rescue must be chipped, and responsible breeders (though not mandated by law) endorse microchippping. So according to this new bill, dogs and cats sold from pet stores will require chipping too. But pet stores should not be selling dogs and cats in the first place!

It’s important for pet owners to know who is supporting IPLA, and they include the American Kennel Club, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, 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.

Unsure how this helps the AKC to resurrect their image. Really, they're all about dogs?

Unsure how this helps the AKC to resurrect their image. Really, they’re all about dogs?

Here’s an interesting little fact: Most people in Illinois have a pet (it’s true for all 50 states). And the vast majority of pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family.

When the truth has trickled out about this bill, many should be outraged, just as the Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society, and, most of all, the Puppy Mill Project (their mission is to close down the mills) are. This is their action update.

So what can you do to help?

For starters, please sign this petition.

Here’s more you can do:

  • If you live in Illinois, contact your state congressmen in the Senate and House of Representatives, and express that you care about this issue.
  • Join the Facebook page Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills (whether you live in Illinois or not, no matter what you happen to do for a living).
  • If you are a veterinary professional in Illinois, clearly express your concerns with the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. I suggest the state association is hardly representing their membership.
  • If you are a pet owner in Illinois, clearly express your concerns with your veterinarian. It’s likely your veterinarian has no clue this is happening. Also, post on your veterinarian’s Facebook page.
  • Share this post on your own social channels.
  • If you live in Chicago, contact your Alderman (also contact your Alderman if you know of any pet stores—and there are some—that are ignoring the ban on sales of dogs and cats).

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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