You need hip waders to slog through all the mud flowing in Illinois politics these days. With all the mudslinging in political ads, it’s tough to tell what’s real. On the topic of puppy mills – which hasn’t been included in the discourse – I’d really love to know where gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stands. Does Bruce Rauner support puppy mills?
It is become an interesting question. A photo is circulating from a $50 a plate Republic fundraiser in Rockford on June 11th at Giovanni's Restaurant sheds a little light on the issue. One of the supporters of Bruce Rauner at this event was Petland. In fact, Rauner reportedly thanked Petland for their support at the fundraiser.
So…where does Bruce Rauner stand on puppy mills?
Does Rauner support puppy mills?
In case you are new to this column, Petland is the largest seller of puppy mill dogs in the United States. While PetSmart and Petco (the number one and two pet stores in America) support adoption and rescue, Petland franchises continue to line their pockets with loads and loads of cash on the back of breeding dogs in puppy mills.
As communities around America are banning the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores (see Chicago), good ole’ Petland has been turning on the pressure in communities that want to outlaw the sale of puppy mill dogs. They are fueling campaigns by pro-puppy mill lobbyists PIJAC to stop additional bans from passing and are involved in a Cook County lawsuit aimed at overturning the county’s ban on puppy mill sales in pet stores.
So, where Petland stands is not in doubt. Now, in the gubernatorial race in Illinois, Petland supports Bruce Rauner.
We know they won't be supporting Pat Quinn. He was working to pass a statewide ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs and kitten mill cats in pet stores earlier this year until that legislation was derailed. He was instrumental in the passage of the Puppy Lemon Law and the Illinois Pet Store Disclosure Act. He’s not taking contributions from Petland in this lifetime even if they did decide to support him.
So, how does Rauner feel about puppy mills and why would he want Petland’s support? He obviously doesn’t need the money. His well-funded campaign has the staff to check out where the donations are coming from. So, why take money from Petland?
While we are waiting to find out, there's a few things to know about pet stores and puppy mills - good breeders don’t sell to pet stores. And, if you have the time and energy to follow the paper trail from Petland to the “good breeders” that supposedly supplies its stores, it will lead you down a country road to a Midwestern puppy mill.
Despite Illinois’ pet store disclosure act, Petland and other pet stores go to great effort to hide where their puppies come from – see this report from WGN. They shouldn't make you skip down the yellow brick road with an investigative team if they are using good breeders...Petland uses these tactics because they have something to hide.
That brings us back to a pretty black and white issue – why take money from a company making profits from puppy mills? Inquiring voters want to know.
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