Pets purchased from suburban Cook County pet stores can't come from puppy mills anymore after the board of commissioners voted Wednesday to limit the resale of puppies and kittens.
The new law takes effect Oct. 1 and requires pet stores to use animals sourced from shelters, humane adoption centers and small-scale breeders, according to a release by the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
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The law impacts 13 stores in suburban Cook County, and puts a $500 fine per transaction for those who don't heed the law.
"Passing a puppy mill ban means that Cook County residents can have some piece of mind knowing that if they buy a dog from a pet store they are getting a new companion who has been treated humanely," Commissioner John Fritchey said in a release. "As a proud dog owner and dog lover, this is an issue that is deeply personal to me, and based on the feedback I've received from others, clearly this is important to many Cook County residents."
The Chicago City Council recently passed the same legislation.
The 13 pet stores affected by the suburban Cook County ordinance include Happiness is Pets in Arlington Heights and Petland in Hoffman Estates, as well as stores in Lincolnwood, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Bridgeview, Chicago Ridge, Brookfield, Lansing, Alsip, Palos Heights and Berwyn.
"This is a history making day for all of the consumers in Cook County, and for the thousands of puppies that will no longer be crammed into trucks on their way to pet stores here," said Cari Meyers, founder of the Puppy Mill Project. "This is a huge victory for every breeding dog sitting in a cage right now waiting to be rescued. Our work has just begun and The Puppy Mill Project will never stop fighting to put an end to puppy mills."
Suburban Cook County joins more than 40 cities in the United States and Canada to ban the sale of pets bred in mills, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Albuquerque, Austin, and Toronto.