Arlington Heights puts puppy mill plan on hold

  • Arlington Heights officials say their plan to place restrictions on the sale of pets from so-called puppy mills is being held up by a legal challenge to a similar Cook County ordinance.

      Arlington Heights officials say their plan to place restrictions on the sale of pets from so-called puppy mills is being held up by a legal challenge to a similar Cook County ordinance. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer, 2014

 
 
Updated 9/9/2015 4:32 PM

Arlington Heights officials' plan to enact stricter rules on stores that sell pets from so-called puppy mills is on hold while a legal challenge to similar Cook County regulations works its way through the courts.

For the village, the issue surrounds Happiness Is Pets, 15 W. Golf Road, the only store in Arlington Heights that would be subject to the Cook County Puppy Mill ban passed last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In July, the Arlington Heights village board agreed to opt out of the county ordinance to allow Happiness Is Pets to stay open. But officials promised the board would create its own ordinance with strict regulations for the store.

That process, which village leaders say will include input from residents, has been delayed as the federal challenge to the county ordinance continues.

Happiness is Pets is one of several pet stores named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the county ordinance. A federal judge dismissed the suit in August, but appeals are pending.

"We are waiting on the exhaustion of appeals and challenges to the Cook County ordinance," Arlington Heights Village President Tom Hayes said Tuesday. "Before we come up with any draft we want to make sure the courts have ruled on what they consider an appropriate ordinance is."

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Hayes said the board will give residents an opportunity to share their opinions. Several already have via email and other communications, he noted.

Resident Diane Mullins addressed the village board on the topic Tuesday, urging them to pass a "rescue adoption only" ordinance that would allow stores to sell only rescue dogs.

Board members mentioned looking at similar ordinances in other suburbs that require pet stores to disclose where puppies come from at the time of sale, but Mullins said that is not enough of a deterrent for stores to stop using puppy mills.

"I support Arlington Heights businesses," she said. "We want ethical businesses who share our values, not those who exploit animals and people."

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