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updated: 3/5/2014 6:05 PM

Chicago forbids pet shops from using puppy mills

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  • Pet stores in Chicago now must obtain their animals from shelters or humane adoption centers.

      Pet stores in Chicago now must obtain their animals from shelters or humane adoption centers.
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Associated Press

Operators of so-called puppy mills can no longer do business in Chicago.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that on Wednesday the city council passed an ordinance that requires pet stores to acquire dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters and humane adoption centers. It forbids them from obtaining animals from for-profit breeders.

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The ordinance is aimed at protecting animals from what critics say are often inhumane conditions in the breeding operations.

City Clerk Susana Mendoza championed the ordinance. She applauded the vote and says it sends a message that Chicago is a "national leader in humane and compassionate" animal welfare laws.

The ordinance gives pet stores one year to get rid of their inventories and switch to "more humane" sales models. Otherwise they have to completely stop selling animals.

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