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Puppy Mill Dogs to be Banned from Chicago Pet Stores


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Keep puppy mill puppies out of pet stores – that’s the essence of  the proposed ordinance called The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection ordinance, which will limit the retail sale of dogs and cats from pet stores to only animals sourced from government-run shelters (such as Chicago Animal Care and Control), nonprofit rescue organizations or humane societies. This ordinance will save lives, and in more ways than one.

If you agree, please add you name to the thousands who have signed this petition.

If you are wondering, ‘what’s the big deal,’ well here it is:

The Puppy Mill Project has been working for years to make this happen, and to educate the public regarding the truth.

Here is what is known:

– Any responsible breeder demands to meet the family who is purchasing their valued pup. That’s impossible when a purchase is being made a pet store, so no matter where the pet store contends the pups are from, they are assuredly not be from responsible breeders. Responsible breeders simply don’t sell dogs through third parties, particularly not pet stores.

– Due to the way pups are raised at commercial facilities and puppy mills and kept at many pets stores, they may not be appropriately socialized. Dogs who aren’t appropriately socialized are more likely to have an array of behavior problems as they grow up. These behaviors won’t be identified while a family interacts with the cute pup still at the pet store, and may not be revealed until weeks or months later. Inappropriate behavior is a leading cause for people ultimately give up animals to shelters.

– Due to the way which they are raised, some puppies may not be house-trained, and worse are actually “trained” to urinate and defecate where they sleep (because that has inhumanely been their only choice).  Crate training doesn’t assist these pups in house training, since they have been previously conditioned to “go” where they sleep and to “go” indoors. Difficulty house training may mean relinquishment to a shelter, or at best just a difficult time of adjustment for the puppy and new family.

– Pets sold at pet stores may not be what they are purported to be. Consumers are not necessarily buying what they think they are. As one example, a so-called Yorkipoo (supposed to be a mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy Poodle) may in fact be the result of a breeding between a Yorki-mix and a dog that might not even have any poodle in its genetics. Selling anything under false pretenses is fraud. Yet, pet stores do this all the time, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly.

– Also some pet stores may market dogs, such as a Yorkipoo (as an example) as being something they are not. They may be marketed as hypo-allergenic, as one example. While these dogs may be tolerated by some people with allergies, they are not hypo-allergenic. And, as mentioned, they may not be a Yorkipoo in the first place.

– Longtime veterinarians note that pet store purchased dogs are more likely to have medical problems, many are not inexpensive to treat and some can last a dog’s lifetime.

Dozens of U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix, have passed similar restrictions as to what is being proposed in Chicago.

Pet stores, which may be affected, maintain that selling these animals is their only way to stay in business, but many pet stores in Chicago now do terrific business and have never sold animals. Pet stores in these other cities with bans have survived or not, based on meeting customer needs and their customer service.  The Dog Patch Pet & Feed, right here in Naperville, in an example of a retail outlet which once sold pups and now adopts them in impressive numbers – and they are thriving, and also saving lives.

Susana Mendoza, whose office sells city dog licenses, is a former state legislator who backed a law that as of 2011 required pet stores to disclose the name and address of each animal’s breeder, veterinary records and potential congenital defects. Only about 16 Chicago stores sell dogs, the clerk said.

Some reportedly argue that the proposed ordinance would only force pet stores to become more creative, selling more pups on the Internet. Those pet stores might be doing that today anyway, Also, increasingly, Internet sales of live animals are being regulated. And on the Web, it’s not quite the opportunity to make an impulsive purchase of actually seeing and petting the furry puppy. Hopefully, the websites with pet store dogs from puppy mills won’t compete favorably with local rescue or shelter websites, or sites with national listings of rescue and shelter dogs like petfinder.com.

Others argue that the focus should be on ending puppy mills. True enough, but local government can’t do that…Here is something local government can do. In the end, if people stop buying these dogs, the puppy mills will be forced out of business.

Clerk Mendoza’s Office has set up an informative website where you can learn more about the ordinance and what it means for Chicago tax payers, consumers, and homeless pets.e

I am personally in full support of the proposed ordinance. Alderman James Cappleman will be on my WGN Radio Show, Sunday February 23, 6:35 to discuss, he and it appears the overwhelming majority of City Council are in full support. Clerk Mendoza will join me with Bill Moller on February 23rd at 2:35 p.m.

 

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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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