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Chicago passes anti-puppy mill ordinance

Scene from a puppy mill
Scene from a puppy mill

Chicago has joined the list of cities which will no longer sell animals in pet stores that come from large-scale commercial breeders or “puppy mills,” according to Wednesday's Chicago Tribune.

Instead, starting next March, all cats and dogs sold in Chicago’s pet stores will come from government or rescue shelters or humane societies.

The ordinance, which was approved by a City Council vote of 49-1, has been supported by national and local animal welfare advocates.

“Today the city of Chicago is taking a step forward for the humane economy and a stand against pet overpopulation and puppy mills.” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of The Humane Society of the United States’ Stop Puppy Mills Campaign. “This rule will help end the euthanasia of thousands of dogs and cats every year in Chicago.”

Education affects the decision to adopt rather than buy from a commercial breeder, as more people discover the dark side of puppy mill operations. Social media shares reports and photos showing mistreated and overbred animals, and the poor conditions that many dogs and cats are forced to live in.

The new ordinance does not apply, however, to small-scale breeders or pets sold online.

The fine is up to $1,000 per day. Repeat offense violators can be charged with a misdemeanor.

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