Naperville: Puppy mill outlet capital or dog-friendly city

Naperville: Puppy mill outlet capital or dog-friendly city
Around 60 people protested outside the new Happiness is Pets in Naperville last Sunday.

Will America need to find a new puppy mill outlet capital this week?

On Tuesday, we’re going to find out exactly what the public officials in Naperville are made of when the puppy mill/pet store argument takes center stage again. After shutting down the debate for the summer while the city investigated its options, Naperville’s City Council is expected to open the floor for debate again on Tuesday.

Will Naperville change the laws so it’s no longer the puppy mill outlet capital in America? I’m not holding out a lot of hope that they’ll be doing the right thing.

Happiness is Pets opened a larger store in Naperville this summer.

Happiness is Pets opened a larger store in Naperville this summer.

You see, doing the right thing is hard. It involves standing up to a couple of businesses that have plopped a lot of blood money tax dollars into the city coffers. The owners of Happiness is Pets and Petland have made fortune over the years misrepresenting where they get their pets to consumers and now politicians.

If you want to doubt what they have to say, just follow the paper trail. A lot of evidence has been gathered connecting the dots between puppy mills and two of Naperville’s pet stores.

Now, it’s up to the city council to do the right thing.

Pet stores often work with brokers who do the dirty work - get dogs from the puppy mills.

Pet stores often work with brokers who do the dirty work - get dogs from the puppy mills.

Take a long hard look at where Happiness is Pets and Petland get their puppies and kittens – puppy mills and kitten mills. Then, show your constituents where you stand on animal abuse.

Are you supporting the almighty dollar or the do you go to bat for the dogs left behind in puppy mills?

Would you rather be known as the puppy mill outlet capital of America or be America's most livable city for both people and dogs?

In an article published in the Naperville Sun Friday, it appears that the recommendation from city staffers is to do nothing by waiting for the state to make a move.

Screen shot 2014-08-30 at 7.58.59 PMIt’s a stupid and cowardly way to sweep it under the rug. The most recent version of the state proposal would have allowed the sale of puppies from commercial breeders that didn't have violations. That, my dear, requires a heck of a lot more resources and truly is more difficult to enforce than going humane.

One of the hundreds of rescue dogs that have hit Dog Patch in search of a home. The store also adopts out cats.

One of the hundreds of rescue dogs that have hit Dog Patch in search of a home. The store also adopts out cats.

It can be done and has been done in Naperville with the city's oldest pet store - Dog Patch Pet and Feed. That store moved to an adoption model over 2 1/2 years ago and business is booming there. In fact, over two-thirds of America's pet stores don't sell dogs and cats. They work with rescues, shelters and others adopting out pets in need of homes.

It's a business model that saves lives and tax dollars (by removing animals from animal controls). It's also a business model that requires work because it requires hitting on the right formula of products and services to be successful. It's easier and more lucrative to call a broker and have them go to the puppy mill to get your product that you can sell at a premium.

Chicago and Cook County take a lot of flack around the country for a lot of things - crime rates, politicians, the list goes on. But, they do have a backbone on this issue. Both governments did do the right thing this year and stood up for the dogs. In a month, selling commercially bred (puppy mill) dogs and cats in pet stores will be illegal in Cook County. Chicago's new ordinance takes effect in the spring.

Now it's up to Naperville to make a move. Will it be the right one? I guess we need to wait until Tuesday to find out.

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Filed under: Pets, Puppy Mills

Tags: pet stores, puppy mills

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    Raining Cats and Dogs

    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

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