Buffalo Grove nearing ban on retail sales of cats and dogs
Buffalo Grove has no pet stores in town selling dogs or cats, and a new measure village trustees say they intend to pass will keep it that way.
Trustees on Monday said they will approve an ordinance prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, a move supporters say targets puppy mill operations.
Retail stores would be allowed to sell other pets, including fish, hamsters and reptiles, as well as supplies and food. They also would be permitted to host adoption events in conjunction with breeders or rescue organizations.
The ban would follow a moratorium passed in October on the retail sale of dogs and cats at pet stores. The moratorium is set to expire in July.
Among the ban's proponents is Denice Bocek, a former member of the village's plan commission.
"Reputable breeders have a vested interest in seeing the betterment of the breed," which, she said, "you cannot do when you mass produce animals."
Trustees also heard from representatives of the Illinois Pet Lovers Association, which represents pet stores and opposes the proposed ban.
"Bans only shift the market to unregulated sources," Stefanie Boron said. "Pet stores are the only face-to-face pet sale transactions where consumers have recourse. A brick-and-mortar store is always there. We honor our contracts and we answer the phone, and we follow laws that protect the consumer."
Buffalo Grove resident Michael Oldham suggested the issue is better addressed at the state level, noting that buyers could simply go to neighboring communities without bans.
"What we're doing here is making ourselves feel good, rather than actually impacting how people would go about treating dogs or bringing dogs into Buffalo Grove," he said.
But Trustee Andrew Stein, who previously argued it should be a state matter, said he has since learned more about the issue and has changed his view.
"It's not working. They (the state) don't have everything in place that they need for their own regulations to work," he said.
Trustee Joanne Johnson said she normally would oppose such regulations on a business, but "we're talking about living creatures."