The Chicago City Council passed the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance in March of 2014. This ordinance will prevent pet stores from selling pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs, cats and rabbits from inhumane, for-profit breeders.
Following in the steps of the Chicago City Council, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance. The law goes into effect in October of 2014. Pet stores will now be allowed to sell pets they can buy from licensed shelters and small-operation breeders with five or fewer female dogs. If pet stores violate the ordinance, they will be charged $500 per transaction.
This ordinance has now sparked the attention of two politicians: State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge)and State Representative Dan Burke (D-Chicago). The politicians introduced House Bill 4056. This bill would prohibit Illinois pet shops from selling dogs and cats from commercial breeders. The bill is backed by Governor Quinn who says the "proposal will help end inhumane puppy mills, protect pet owners and help shelter animals find loving homes."
The ASCPA states there are typically 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders operating in the United States. However, this does not include the number of breeders not required to have a license or those operating illegally. The number of unlicensed breeders is estimated at about 10,000 in the United States. Puppy mills produce millions of puppies per year and supply a majority of pet stores according to the Animal Rescue Corps. These puppy mills often breed sickly dogs that are not properly socialized. To learn more about puppy mills, please visit dosomething.org.