Illinois Puppy Mill Ban Awaiting Gov. Pritzker’s Signature

Illinois Puppy Mill Ban Awaiting Gov. Pritzker’s Signature

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ILLINOIS — Puppy mills could soon be a thing of the past in Illinois. A bipartisan bill is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk after clearing the state senate late Monday. If signed into law, HB1171 would ban pet stores across the state from selling dogs from commercial breeding facilities, which according to the Humane Society, “[churn] out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers.”

Under the new law, pet shops would only be able to sell dogs or cats obtained from animal control facilities and animal shelters, either in-state or out-of-state, that are in compliance with Illinois animal welfare regulations.

The Humane Society says dogs from puppy mills are often sickly and poorly socialized.

“Mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little or no personal attention,” the group writes on its website. “When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed. Due to poor sanitation, overbreeding and a lack of preventive veterinary care, the puppies from puppy mills frequently suffer from a variety of health issues, creating heartbreaking challenges for families who should be enjoying the delights of adopting a new family member.”

Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored the bill in the state senate.

Chicago passed a similar law in 2014, over many of the same objections.

Alternative proposals seek to split the difference, protecting animals while keeping pet shops in business.

Bloomington Republican Sen. Jason Barickman has proposed regulating breeders instead of banning them entirely, while Frankfort Democratic Sen. Michael Hastings suggested independent oversight of breeders to ensure animals are being taken care of, according to the Associated Press.

“In Illinois, we need to do more to attract our businesses, and this, unfortunately, is going to do just the opposite,” Barickman told WGLT.

But Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) and others say Illinois doesn’t need businesses that would profit from the suffering of animals.

“These are living beings,” she told the public radio station. “These are not products where you’re just going to maximize quantity over anything else.”

Read the full text of the bill:

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