Several hundred people turned out on Chicago's Michigan Avenue today to march for Puppy Mill Awareness Day. Led by Cari Meyers, the founder of The Puppy Mill Project, City Clerk Susana Mendoza and County Commissioner John Fritchey, animal advocates and pet lovers took their message to the Magnificent Mile connecting the horrors of puppy mills to the puppies sold in pet shops.
"Most people don't know where the adorable puppies and kittens in pet stores come from. They go to the mall and see them in the window," says Mendoza. "They think they are doing that puppy a favor by buying him and bringing him home. We need to continue to educate people what the real horrors are behind the puppies purchased in pet stores. And, that any pet store that tells you they only source their dogs from responsible breeders are lying. There is no such thing as a responsible breeder that sells to pet stores."
"We are out here enjoying this day to build awareness while over a million dogs are breeding for profit in puppy mills around America," says Meyers. "Dogs and cats are not livestock and need to be removed from being monitored by the USDA. Our pets that sleep in bed with us at night and give us kisses shouldn't be treated as livestock."
This year, the city of Chicago and Cook County both passed the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Act that bans the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens in pet stores. The legislation calls for stores to source dogs and cats from humane sources - animal control, shelters and rescues - and offer pets up for adoption.
Just last week, the County ordinance was put on hold after three pet store owners and the Missouri Breeders Association - the largest group of puppy mll breeders in America - sued to stop the ban from taking effect. Commissioner Fritchey said that the law is strong and will stand after this court challenge.
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