The ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores in Cook County won’t go into effect as early as planned. Judge Matthew Kennelly has delayed the start of the ban which was to go into effect on October 1st until he can hear the merits of a lawsuit filed on Monday by the owners of three pet stores effected by the ban.
The owners of Happiness is Pets in Arlington Heights and Petland stores in Hoffman Estates and Chicago Ridge filed the lawsuit earlier this week. According to the Redeye –
The suit claimed the law is unconstitutional because it is overly vague, violates the Commerce Clause by interfering with interstate commerce, provides unequal protection, impairs business contracts and would put the shop owners out of business and cause them “financial ruin.”
“This is not an unexpected turn of events. Instead of making the choice to go humane and do the right thing, they have opted to stay the course and continue to sell dogs from puppy mills,” says Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. Her group worked with County Commissioner John Fritchey to pass the ban. “What I have had a hard time understanding is that they keep saying they don’t purchase from puppy mills, if that is the case, then what is the problem…it’s all money over morals.”
The ordinance that was passed this spring made it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs and cats from puppy mills and kitten mills in pet stores. Stores would have been able to continue to deal in dogs and cats by going humane and obtaining pets from animal controls, humane societies or other shelters and rescue organizations.
Along with a ban passed earlier in Chicago that is slated to start in March, the ordinances are aimed at shutting down the pipeline from puppy mills – who breed dogs under inhumane conditions – and the pet stores that sell them as premium product. That ordinance was spearheaded by City Clerk Susana Mendoza and The Puppy Mill Project. Over 50 bans have been passed in North America.
“We would hope that the judge will take a good look into how many ordinances have taken effect across north America and the reason that is happening.” Added Meyers.” “More and more people are understanding where the pet store puppies come from and have realized they don’t want to be part of an industry that deals in documented large scale animal cruelty.”
On Monday, the Village of Arlington Heights, a home rule community, decided to delay the county ban while they looked into the matter more closely. That move was prompted by Ron Berning, owner of Happiness is Pets. Another plaintiff in the Cook County suit is the Missouri Dog Breeders Association, the organization that lobbies on behalf of the state’s dog breeding industry. Missouri is the number one state for puppy mills in America.
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