Should Buffalo Grove ban pet stores? Debate rolls on in Buffalo Grove

  • Buffalo Grove leaders heard more debate this week on a proposed village ordinance that would ban the retail sales of dogs and cats in town. No decision has been made.

    Buffalo Grove leaders heard more debate this week on a proposed village ordinance that would ban the retail sales of dogs and cats in town. No decision has been made. Associated Press File Photo, 2010

Updated 10/3/2018 5:12 PM

Buffalo Grove is taking a fresh look at a proposed ban on retail dog and cat sales in the wake of new information presented to village board members this week by pet store lobbyists.

Representatives of the Illinois Pet Lovers Association told village trustees the ordinance is premature and recommended Buffalo Grove instead follow a state law that, instead of banning the sale of dogs, strictly regulates pet stores.


Curt Fiedler, a lobbyist for the association, said the Safe Pets Bill signed into law last year requires that commercial breeders selling to pet stores be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and prove their record has been clean for two years.

"We want puppy mills out," he said. "They give us a worse reputation than anybody else."

In August, former Buffalo Grove plan commission member Denice Bocek asked trustees to consider banning the sale of dogs or cats by pet stores. Under the proposal, the village would allow only adoption through an animal care facility or rescue organization.

Lane Boron, owner of Pocket Puppies pet store in Chicago, called the rescue industry "an unregulated monster" and that a village ban will not prevent backyard breeders from selling dogs online.

Trustees also heard from supporters of the proposed ban who disputed the claims of the pet store advocates.

Peggy Grandahl, founder of Paws Crossed Rescue Resource in Plainfield, said such a ban would protect the community from an industry riddled with consumer fraud.

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"The (animals) do end up in shelters and rescues after the buyers encounter the health and behavioral issues so pervasive in pet store animals," Grandahl said. "The store's business practices do contribute to pet overpopulation and the rise of congenital illnesses."

"Rescue shelters and reputable breeders have no agenda of profit," she said.

Buffalo Grove resident and shelter volunteer Suzanne Anders said shelters frequently take in abandoned pet store dogs.

"What this will do is cause more problems and more overpopulation of our dogs," she said.

Trustee reaction ranged from Andrew Stein preferring to see stores regulated on a statewide basis to Jeffrey Berman's wait-and-see reaction.

"At the moment, what I'm feeling is a bit overwhelmed by a data dump that I have received over the last few days," he said. "I don't think there is any compelling rush to make a decision. We don't have any businesses (that sell dogs) in the village. We don't have anyone imminently coming into the village. And we have the specter of the state law out there as well."

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