It’s a move that was several years in the making. During that time, The Puppy Mill Project has been staging protests at Collar & Leash. Their goal was to educate the public about the origin of pet shop pets – kitten and puppy mills. They also hoped that one day the pet store would opt to offer pets for adoption instead of selling them.
“This is huge for all of us,” says Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. “I grew up looking at the puppies in the window of this store; it’s been my priority to stop the sale of dogs and cats at this store and move it to an adoption model. We’ll be working with shelters and rescues to host pet adoption events at Collar and Leash in the future.”
Earlier this year, Sonja Raymond the owner of Collar and Leash and Meyers sat down to talk about making the change at the store. They worked on a plan, set a date and started working toward a more humane pet store. A store that has been open and in the family for 56 years – the year Raymond’s husband was born.
This weekend, Collar & Leash will be hosting a grand re-opening. Visiting the store to shop instead of protest will be many members of The Puppy Mill Project. Also on hand will be rescues holding pet adoption events.
- On Saturday, April 6, Adopt-A-Bulls English Bulldog Rescue will be on hand with their dogs and supporters from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. At the pet adoption event will be - Turbo, Farley, Comet, Cupid and newest arrival Bella!
- On Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control will be on hand with their dogs and cats needing homes. FCACC is a foster-based organization that rescues animals from Chicago Animal Care and Control.
“With our prime location in Old Town, we are hoping that rescues will be able to make the connection with more potential adopters,” says Raymond. Collar & Leash is at 1345 North Wells. “There are so many homeless pets at the Animal Welfare League and at Chicago Animal Care and Control that just need a second chance or they’ll be destroyed. We can make a difference hosting pet adoption events in conjunction with rescues.”
Collar & Leash will also hold wellness clinics and vaccination days in conjunction with the Broadway Animal Hospital. Although
they are the first store in the city to make the change, three suburb stores have stopped selling puppies and kittens in recent years.
- Dog Patch Pet and Feed in Naperville went humane in November of 2011. The Puppy Mill Project and Annie’s Little Angels opened the door for Dog Patch to expand adoptions (they had been adopting out cats since the beginning). Dog Patch now pulls from Chicago Animal Care and Control and works with A Place to Bark from rural Tennessee saving puppies, kittens, dogs and cats.
- Thee Fish Bowl in Evanston stopped selling pets about a year earlier. They are pulling pets from CACC and offering them for adoption.
- Wilmette Pet Center continues to work with long-time rescue partner Adopt-A-Pet by fostering pets on site. The dogs and cats are adopted out by the rescue. The store also holds pet adoption events with other organizations.
If you’ve not stopped by to shop at Collar & Leash in the past, now is a good time to check out the store and show support. Keep updated on activities on The Puppy Mill Project’s Facebook Page and on Collar & Leash’s page.
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