It’s hard to believe that puppy mills still exist. They seem like they should be easy to shut down, but minimal breeding restrictions and pet stores fighting back make it incredibly difficult.
Most dogs bred in puppy mills are sold to pet stores, which many first-time dog parents are unaware of. So, to end this inhumane problem, Illinois is banning the sale of puppies from breeders at pet stores, making it the 5th state to prohibit pet stores from working with puppy mills. It won’t solve the problem entirely, but it’s a step in the right direction!
Ending Puppy Mill Sales
Since many puppy mills are USDA-licensed, cutting them off at the source is tricky. So, rescue dog advocates are working hard to remove the places supporting these businesses. On 5/31/2021, an Illinois bill passed in the Senate to fight against puppy mills.
House Bill 1711 states that pet stores can no longer sell pets from breeders, but instead, can only sell pets from shelters and rescues. This would eliminate the option of them secretly selling dogs from inhumane breeding businesses. Of course, some pet stores will try to find loopholes, but rescue organizations are working hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“They sell very expensive dogs, and then they have a lot of health problems because of the inhumane way that they’re bred,” said House Representative Chesney.
The bill passed in the Senate by 38-12. They also passed a recent bill that will ban puppy and kitten financing. These new bills will not harm responsible breeders, but instead, they’re aimed to put an end to puppy mills.
Hope for the Future
It might seem easy to resist a pet store puppy, but families fall for these scams often. Misty McCarty is an Illinois resident fighting for the new bill, but she once purchased a puppy from Petland. In 2016, she fell in love with Lucy the puppy, but only hours after buying her, she was rushing her to the vet for procedures costing thousands of dollars. Today, Lucy is blind and has occasional seizures.
“We can’t travel, we can’t go anywhere. We can’t board her, we can’t even bring her with us,” McCarty said. “I feel like we’re watching her deteriorate right in front of us.”
Of course, the family will continue to love and care for Lucy for the rest of her life, but they want to make sure no other puppy goes through this. And most importantly, they want to make sure the breeding dogs don’t suffer either.
Over a million pets get euthanized annually due to a lack of space. At the same time, more and more puppy mill dogs are getting bred and sold, only making the problem worse. By removing pet stores or forcing them to provide rescue dogs instead, this could help end puppy mills and the dog overpopulation problem. Now, it’s up to every other state to do their part too.