Federal lawsuit challenges Chicago pet store ban

Federal lawsuit challenges Chicago pet store ban

Read updated post on the Chicago pet store ban.

A lawsuit has been filed in Cook County challenging Chicago’s soon-to-be-enacted law that would ban the sale of puppy mill dogs and kitten mill cats in the city’s pet stores. Two pet stores and a Missouri breeder are challenging the law that was due to go into effect on March 5th. Pocket Puppies and Park Pet Store – along with Missouri breeder Cedar Woods Farm – filed the federal complaint earlier today.

Just last year, Chicago passed the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Act – an ordinance aimed at stopping the puppy mill pipeline to Chicago’s pet stores. The ordinance required pet stores that wanted to continue to deal in cats, dogs and rabbits to only deal in rescue animals from animal controls, humane societies or rescues.

A similar Cook County Ordinance is in limbo since a lawsuit was filed last fall shortly before that law was also to become law. Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza spearheaded the effort with the assistance of The Puppy Mill Project.

According to the article published in The Courthouse News – 

The stores applaud homage to lawmakers’ noble aim of shutting down so-called animal mills but say the ordinance “has the opposite effect.”
“Instead of eliminating these substandard facilities, the ordinance actually favors their expansion, by eliminating the source of commercially bred puppies in the county that are regulated on multiple levels,” the complaint states.
The stores say the ordinance prevents them from working with “loving, responsible breeders, who are devoted to raising animals the responsible and ethical way.”

Here’s the deal. If you follow the paper trail – the USDA paperwork that accompanies the puppies sold in Chicago’s pet stores…they don’t follow the yellow brick road to good breeders. In fact, any good breeder takes control over the sale of the dogs and cats that they breed. They want to make sure the pets go to good homes and don’t pawn them out through brokers and pet stores.

Pocket Puppies is based in Lincoln Park and is known for selling a wide variety of “teacup puppies” at high  prices. The Morkies and whatever-poos come in diminutive packages and go by the designer breed name of the day. Just last week, the store was under fire on social media after a TV report suggested purchasing puppies from there as a Valentines Gift.

The complaint claims that dogs sold in pet stores that come from licensed USDA Breeders  meet the highest of standards. However, dog breeding operations must meet minimal standers set by the Animal Welfare Act which don’t provide ample protection for the dogs in breeding operations.

Chicago is one of a growing number of municipalities in North America that have tried to stop the sale of puppy mill dogs by regulating pet store sales.

Learn more about the ordinance in the following posts –

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Filed under: 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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