Mundelein merchant threatens to sue over proposed pet-sale restrictions
A Mundelein business owner pledged to sue the village if officials ban the sale of dogs from large-scale breeding operations.
Robin Schroeder, who sells dogs and offers other pet services at Doodles and Suds, 623 N. Lake St., made the threat after the village board on Monday directed administrators to create strict rules for local pet stores.
Trustees want an ordinance that would mandate animals sold at stores come from shelters, humane adoption centers or animal rescue groups. They intend to prevent animals from large breeding businesses, which some people call puppy mills, from being sold in Mundelein.
Schroeder, of Long Grove, owns the only store in town that sells dogs from breeders, and her operation would be deemed illegal under the proposed rules. She wasn't happy about it.
"They will have a lawsuit on their hands if they try to ban the sale of cats and dogs," Schroeder said in an interview after the board's vote.
Mundelein began investigating restricting dog sales last month after an animal-rights activist publicly called for such rules in town. Dogs from large-scale breeders often are inbred and sickly and not cared for properly, said Cari Meyers, president of a group called the National Puppy Mill Project.
But Mundelein's attorney, Charles Marino, discouraged a ban on selling animals from breeders. He said such businesses are legal in Illinois and that such a ban likely would result in a court challenge.
Marino instead recommended less-stringent rules that would require pet stores to be licensed by the state and abide by state regulations and inspections. He suggested Mundelein adopt rules similar to those adopted earlier this year in Arlington Heights.
But that proposal wasn't good enough for trustees Monday. After a lengthy discussion, they demanded tougher rules be developed.
"Let's either write it and do it right or just not do it," Trustee Kerston Russell said, eliciting applause from the audience.
Trustees eventually called for an ordinance like the one in Waukegan that says only dogs and cats from government-run animal control centers, nonprofit humane societies and nonprofit rescue agencies can be sold.
Trustees debated whether to allow Schroeder to continue her operation, since it's legal at the moment, but decided against it.
If Schroeder wants to continue selling animals, she'll need to get them from shelters or rescue groups, Russell said.
Schroeder isn't interested.
"It's not what my business is," she said.
The board could approve the restrictions Nov. 14. Trustee Dawn Abernathy said the threat of legal action won't change her vote.
"This is a case where we need to be unified," Abernathy said.