Update: June 13, 2014
Great news! The amendment to the Cook County Companion Animal and Consumer Protection ordinance, which would effectively dismantle protections against puppy mills and inhumane breeding practices, has been pulled from Tuesday’s Cook County Board of Commissioners agenda. Although the amendment could resurface in the future, it is currently not up for vote.
We will continue to provide updates as information is available.
Update: May 22, 2014
Several Cook County Commissioners with high volume pet stores in their districts along with representatives of pet shops and the puppy mill industry, want to make some changes to the puppy mill ordinance, passed last month, which would seriously impact the protections prohibiting pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits purchased from for-profit breeders and puppy mills.
The law currently mandates that retailers can only sell rescue animals obtained from government pounds, humane societies or animal rescue groups. Unfortunately, the amendment that would allow Cook County pet stores to continue selling animals who originate from for-profit mills.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
If you live in Cook County, please contact the Cook County Commissioners listed below and let them know that it is critical to animals and our community that they uphold their original vote and not support the new Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Amendment. The lives of helpless animals depend on your support.
Commissioner Earlean Collins
Commissioner Robert B. Steele
Commissioner Jerry Butler
Commissioner Stanley Moore
Commissioner Deborah Sims,
District #6 (Proposing Ordinance Amendment)
Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy
Commissioner Jesus G. Garcia
Commissioner Edwin Reyes,
Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri,
Commissioner Bridget Gainer
Commissioner John P. Daley
Commissioner John A. Fritchey
Commissioner Larry Suffredin,
District #14 (Proposing Ordinance Amendment)
Commissioner Gregg Goslin
Commissioner Timothy 0. Schneider
Commissioner Jeffrey R. Tobolski
District #17 (Proposing Ordinance Amendment)
Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman
UPDATE - May 16, 2014
We know you are as interested as we are about Illinois SB 4065 sitting before the state senate. Some changes have been made to the bill since originally introduced and we are working hard to get more information about the potential implications and whether or not those revisions compromise the originally foreseen benefits to animals and our support. We will provide updates as soon as we know more.
UPDATE – May 2, 2014
Illinois Could Become First State in Nation to Take a Stand Against Puppy Mills
Several Illinois lawmakers are taking on the inhumane practices of puppy mills and commercial breeding.
State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge)and State Representative Dan Burke (D-Chicago) have introduced legislation (House Bill 4056) that would prohibit Illinois pet shops from selling dogs and cats acquired from commercial “breeders” – often large facilities that mass-produce animals for sale. Backed by Governor Quinn, the push comes just weeks after the approval of similar measures in both Chicago and Cook County.
“This proposal will help end inhumane puppy mills, protect pet owners and help shelter animals find loving homes,” Governor Quinn said. “Cook County will soon offer this humane protection and together we can build on that momentum for families across Illinois.”
Senator Kotowski says he introduced the measure because he believes it will work to ensure safer and more humane treatment of pets. If would also work to guarantee that people are buying healthy dogs and cats.
“Pets are a part of many families, and this legislation will help when choosing one of these new family members,” said Representative Burke. “It will also reduce the number of shelter animals and bring more healthy pets into Illinois homes.”
If passed, Illinois would be the first state in the country to take a stand against the inhuman breeding practices of puppy mills.
Contact your Senator or State Representative and let them know how important the passing of this law will be to animals and our community.
Ira I. Silverstein - D
James F. Clayborne, Jr. - D
John J. Cullerton - D
Mattie Hunter - D
Kimberly A. Lightford - D
Terry Link - D
Antonio Muñoz - D
Heather A. Steans - D
Donne E. Trotter – D
Christine Radogno - R
Matt Murphy - R
David S. Luechtefeld - R
Dale A. Righter - R
Dave Syverson -R
UPDATE – April 11, 2014
Following in the history-making steps of Chicago, The Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Cook County Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance. The ordinance will outlaw the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits sourced from inhumane breeders or “puppy mills” that prioritize profits over the well-being of animals, where the vast majority of pets sold in stores originate.
Once the law goes into effect in October 2014, pet stores will be allowed to sell or adopt pets from licensed shelters and small-operation breeders with five or fewer female dogs. Further, stores that violate the ordinance will face a $500 penalty for each animal sold.
Concerned about the inhumane conditions at large breeding operations, Commissioner John Fritchy, who sponsored the groundbreaking legislation, said, “If I cannot regulate them directly because they are out of state, we’re going to try to cut off the demand for those dogs and cats here and, at the same time, reduce the number euthanized in shelters.”
UPDATE– March 5, 2014
The Chicago City Council passed landmark legislation today that will make it illegal for puppy mills and puppy mill operators to do business with pet stores within city limits. The Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance passed 49-1 and will prohibit pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs, cats and rabbits from inhumane, for-profit breeders.
“This is a groundbreaking day for the City of Chicago,” says PAWS Chicago founder, Paula Fasseas. “Thousands of mill pets are brought into Illinois each year, while thousands of cats and dogs are euthanized, simply because they are homeless. The way these mill animals have been treated is unconscionable.”
With the passage of this ordinance, Chicago joins 45 other cities across the United States and Canada who have taken a stand against the sourcing and sale of animals from mills who are raised in inhumane conditions and are often wrought with disease, congenital issues and poor socialization.
PAWS Chicago would like to thank City Clerk Susana Mendoza, for introducing this important ordinance, those who testified in its favor as well as the aldermen who passed it.
The new law will go into effect on March 6, 2015.
UPDATE – March 4, 2014
The Chicago City Counsel License Committee recommended the passage of the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance which would limit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from pet stores to animals sourced only from shelters and other humane adoption centers. Read more about today’s vote in the Chicago Tribune.
The final vote will take place at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 5 at City Hall and is open to the public.
The Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance
The Chicago City Council will soon vote on a measure that would prohibit pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs and other animals sourced from for-profit breeders.
It’s called the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance and was introduced on February 5 by Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. Aimed specifically at curbing the millions of puppies raised in the neglectful, inhumane and unsanitary conditions of puppy mills, the proposed legislation would limit the retail sale of these animals by allowing pet stores to only sell animals sourced from shelters and humane adoption centers, such as PAWS Chicago. It is estimated that 99 percent of animals in pet stores come from puppy mills that aim to maximize profit in any way possible.
If passed, Chicago would join 45 other cities in the US and Canada in protecting their animals and consumers.
What Can You Do?
PAWS Chicago is urging our community to support of this legislation by signing a petition being circulated by City Clerk Mendoza.
Read more about PAWS Chicago and its stance on puppy mills and this proposed ordinance in the Chicago Sun-Times
More about the Ordinance and Puppy Mills
It is estimated that 10,000 puppy mills produce more than 2,400,000 puppies a year in the United States, according to the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance, and that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills.
Animals raised in puppy mills are held in neglectful, inhumane and unsanitary conditions without proper food, water, shelter or veterinary care. Once an animal in a puppy mill is no longer considered profitable, they are often euthanized. According to Mendoza, banning the sale of puppy mill dogs not only promotes the welfare of animals but protects consumers and would potentially save City tax dollars by increasing animal adoptions and decreasing costs associated with euthanizations.
“We pay dearly for failing to curb the sale of puppy mill animals. This legislation is going to save the lives of dogs and spare pet owners the heartache and cost of bringing a sick animal into their home. Also, I’m happy to say that this addresses a big challenge the City faces in terms of finding resources to care for strays and abandoned animals,” says Mendoza.
For more information, please visit the Office of the City Clerk’s website.
If you live in Chicago please call your Aldermen and say thank you for supporting the Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance. Below is a listing of all the Aldermen by ward who are currently supporting the ordinance.
1 Proco Joe Moreno 773.278.0101 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Robert Fioretti 312.263.9273 email@example.com
3 Pat Dowell 773.373.9273 firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Will Burns 773.536.8103 email@example.com
5 Leslie Hairston 773.324.5555 LHairston@cityofchicago.org
6 Roderick Sawyer Brown 773.635.0006
7 Natashia Mike Holmes 73.731.7777 firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Michelle A. Harris 773.874.3300 email@example.com
9 Anthony Beale 773.785.1100 firstname.lastname@example.org
11 James Balcer 773.254.6677 email@example.com
12 George Cardenas 773.523.8250 firstname.lastname@example.org
13 Marty Quinn 773-581-8000
14 Edward M. Burke 773.471.1414 email@example.com
15 Toni Foulkes 773.863.0220
16 Joann Thompson 773.434.3399
17 Latasha Thomas 773.723.0908 firstname.lastname@example.org
18 Lona Lane 773.471.1991
19 Matthew O’Shea 773.238.8766
20 Will Smithie Cochran 773.955.5610
23 Michael Zalewski 773.582.4444 email@example.com
24 Michael Chandler 773-533-2400
25 Daniel Solis 773.523.4100 firstname.lastname@example.org
26 Roberto Apostol Guillermo Maldonado 773.395.0143
27 Walter Burnett, Jr. 312.432.1995 email@example.com
28 Jason Ervin 773.533.0900
29 Deborah L. Graham 773.261.4646 firstname.lastname@example.org
30 Ariel Reboyras 773.794.3095 email@example.com
31 Ray Suarez 773.486.6488 firstname.lastname@example.org
32 Scott Waguespack 773.248.1330 email@example.com
33 Deb Mell 773.478.8040
34 Carrie Austin 773.928.6961 firstname.lastname@example.org
35 Rey Colón 773.365.3535 email@example.com
36 Nicholas Sposato 773.836.0036
37 Emma Mitts 773.745.2894 firstname.lastname@example.org
38 Timothy Cullerton 773.545.3838 email@example.com
39 Margaret Laurino 773.736.5594
42 Brendan Reilly 312.642.4242 firstname.lastname@example.org
44 Thomas M. Tunney 773.525.6034 email@example.com
45 John Arena 773.286.4545
46 James Cappleman 773.878.4646
47 Ameya Pawar 773.868.4747 firstname.lastname@example.org
48 Harry Osterman 773.784.5277
49 Joe Moore 773.338.5796 email@example.com
50 Debra Silverstein 773.262.1050