Hoffman Estates adopts new pet shop regulations
A new Hoffman Estates law requiring pet shops to disclose the breeding history of their animals has removed the village's Petland store as the last under the jurisdiction of a Cook County regulation that applied different tactics to the discouraging of so-called puppy mills.
Village board members approved the new law on Monday, which supersedes the county ordinance.
The Petland at 11 Golf Center in Hoffman Estates has also been the last remaining plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to block the Cook County regulations, which limits the number of breeding animals a pet shop or the breeders it buys from can own at five.
That excludes about 99 percent of even the responsible, licensed breeders good pet stores use, Petland owner Dan Star said.
"The Cook County ordinance was essentially a ban that would have caused us to relocate or close," Petland owner Dan Star said. "The Cook County ordinance didn't ban puppy mills, it banned pet stores from getting animals from almost all breeders."
Hoffman Estates Village Manager Jim Norris said the business has passed Cook County inspections and the village itself had found no code-related issues there.
Star said that in its efforts to stop puppy mills, the hastily passed Cook County law never properly defined them.
"Puppy mills are bad places, with deplorable conditions," Star said. "No one wants to see those, including us. All the breeders we use are not what we would call a puppy mill."
Since its approval in 2014, the Cook County law applied only in communities that didn't have pet store regulations of their own unless that community actively opted out of the county regulation.
At its height, there were five businesses from throughout Cook County that were plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the county ordinance. All the rest gradually dropped off one by one as their municipalities chose one route or the other, Star said.
Hoffman Estates had been waiting to see how other affected communities addressed the issue, and ultimately adopted a law similar in many respects to one Arlington Heights officials approved in early April.
Arlington Heights also had only one business affected by the Cook County law -- Happiness Is Pets at 15 W. Golf Road.
The Hoffman Estates law requires the posting of a disclosure statement of each animal's medical history and lineage. This also includes the breeder's name and address, whether that breeder has fewer than five female cats or dogs, and each transfer of ownership before the animal's sale from the pet shop.
The posting must also declare whether the breeder is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the USDA website.
"Petland's provided this information for years," Star said.
Norris said village inspectors did determine that Petland has already been keeping the types of records for which public disclosure now is required.