The first large-scale peaceful protest was held out outside Naperville’s newly opened Happiness Is Pets on Sunday. Around 60 protesters, including some dogs rescued from puppy mills, families and area pet rescues, braved the hot and humid day to get the word out about the puppy mill/pet store connection. The protest was organized by The Puppy Mill Project.
Happiness is Pets recently moved from a smaller store to a new, larger location at Naperville Crossing. The move came as Chicago and Cook County outlawed the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens in pet stores. The new store put the spotlight on Naperville, which is in Dupage County and is also home to a Petland store.
After news of the new Happiness is Pets broke, Naperville’s city council heard testimony from pet storeowners and animal advocates about a possible law in that community that could prohibit pet store sales. Advocates back bans like Chicago’s and Cook Counties citing the pet store/puppy mill connections.
The protest on Sunday remained peaceful (an Naperville police officer was on hand to observe). During the protest, the manager of the local Robeks Juice stopped by to ask if protesters wanted drinks. Another protest is slated for next Sunday, just two days before Naperville’s City Council is due to hear more testimony about a possible ban on the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
Animal advocates are pushing for Happiness is Pets and Petland to go humane – offer pets from rescue and animal control for adoption instead. The Puppy Mill Project worked with another Naperville pet store - Dog Patch Pet and Feed - several years ago to move to an all adoption model. That move has been a success for the store.
Read more about the Naperville pet store issue -
- Naperville: Questions on the pet store debate
- Naperville: The puppy mill outlet capital of America
- Petland and the puppies in the photos
- Dog Patch Pet and Feed: Rescue program continues to grow
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