State seeks to revoke Furry Babies' stores' dog-dealing licenses

The state agriculture department wants to take away the dog-dealing licenses of the Furry Babies stores in Lombard, Aurora and Rockford, alleging they illegally operated as pet shops.

On Thursday, the department announced it had filed petitions of revocation.

A news release said the shops are licensed as dog dealers, not pet-shop operators. Only pet-shop operators can sell dogs in stores, and all dogs sold at pet stores must be obtained from an animal-control facility or animal shelter, according to state law.

Furry Babies has stores in the Yorktown Center in Lombard, Fox Valley Mall in Aurora and CherryVale Mall in Rockford. The website states that the company gets its dogs from dog breeders.

The news release said the businesses were notified of the licensing requirements and restrictions when their dog-dealer licenses were issued.

A prehearing conference is set for Aug. 31 before an administrative law judge.

In December, Furry Babies sued the state when a new law prohibited pet shops from offering third-party financing contracts for people to buy pet shops' dogs and cats. It withdrew the suit in February.

In a "Letter to Our Customers" posted on its website and Facebook pages, the company said it opposed the change in Illinois law that required pet shops to stop selling dogs from breeders. The company also said it had obtained a dog-dealer license in May "and can go back to providing well-bred puppies with known health histories and backgrounds from the reputable and ethical breeders we have worked with for years!"

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