Freeport State Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-89th) has introduced House Bill 3646 (HB3646), which would amend Illinois' Animal Welfare Act.

So, what does that mean, exactly? LegiScan.com has a summary of Rep. Chesney's bill:

Amends the Animal Welfare Act. Provides that a pet shop operator may offer for sale a dog or cat only if the dog or cat is obtained from an animal control facility or animal shelter. Provides that an animal control facility or animal shelter that supplies dogs or cats to pet shop operators to be offered for sale shall not be a dog breeder or a cat breeder or obtain dogs or cats from a dog breeder, a cat breeder, a person who resells dogs or cats from a breeder, or a person who sells dogs or cats at auction in exchange for payment or compensation. Defines the term "offer for sale" and modifies the definitions of "pet shop operator" and "animal shelter". Effective 180 days after becoming law.

To break that down, Chesney's bill, if eventually signed into law, would eliminate the connection between puppy mills and pet stores by making it illegal for pet stores to obtain dogs and cats from animal breeders whose sole purpose is to sell those animals to pet stores. Chesney's bill would require pet stores to get their "stocks" from animal control or shelter facilities.

You hear the term "puppy mill" fairly often, and never in a positive context. But, how much do you know about puppy mills and how they do what they do?

PetPedia.com has a piece up at their website called "Eye-opening Puppy Mill Statistics and Facts For 2021," and there are some numbers in there that are pretty disturbing:

  • There are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in the US, but less than 3,000 known puppy mills are regulated.
  • Over a million puppies are produced yearly by licensed facilities in the US.
  • As many as 90% of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills.
  • Female dogs are allowed to live as long as they keep bringing new puppies into the world. If they stop reproducing, they are either killed or sold off in auctions with price tags as low as $1 each.

I could go on and on with these statistics (and horror stories), but I've got to be honest, I'm having trouble forcing myself to share more about how puppy mills work because it makes me sick and angry as hell. I'm proud to have rescued our family dog Buddy from a puppy mill supplied pet store, as he was unwanted and headed for a very questionable fate.

If Representative Chesney's bill becomes a law, maybe some of these awful circumstances for dogs and cats will change.

MyStateline.com:

Chesney said if the bill passes the General Assembly, it won’t impact individual breeders. But, it would force businesses like Furry Babies and Petland to make changes. “This would eliminate the entire practice and, hopefully, puppy mills that are generally out-of-state, their business will be impacted. It’ll force them to close, which would be my great hope, and we’ll encourage their business to do a different practice,” Chesney said.

 

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