A ban on the sale of animals from commercial breeders needs to be further discussed and tweaked to stop "bad" breeders—but also to prevent putting local pet stores out of business, Cook County Commissioners said Wednesday.
Cook County Commissioners Elizabeth Doody Gorman and Joan Patricia Murphy, along with veterinarians, held a conference at the George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building in Chicago to discuss the recently proposed amendment to the Cook County Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance—the 'Puppy Mills' ordinance.
Sponsored by Gorman and Murphy, the amendment states that a pet store can sell dogs, cats and rabbits from any USDA licensed breeder as long as the breeder hasn't received any major violations in the last two years.
The commissioners said they believe their amendment addresses bad breeders as well as
strengthens the health and well-being of pets "without our local pet stores
being put out of business and jeopardizing the jobs of our constituents through
The proposed amendment was sent to the Legislation Committee for discussion.
The committee process will allow the board time to closely examine the real economic impact of the ordinance, which was not originally done, Murphy told WGNRadio. The process allows legislators to discuss proposed legislation and ask questions, and Murphy still has some about the ordinance, she said.
“The future of
Happiness is Pets, a local pet store and long-time business in Orland Park, will
most certainly have to close its doors and put people out of work. This will be the end result of the current
ordinance if not amended,” said Gorman.
highlighted the importance of local pet stores to the Cook County economy, and "the need to be fair and equitable in the county’s approach to
regulating the pet industry."
The amendment is scheduled to be heard on June 17, 2014.