Chesney Passes Bill Aimed at Drying Up Market for Puppy Mills in Illinois

State Representative Andrew Chesney passed House Bill 1711 out of the Illinois House on Wednesday, April 14, aimed at ending the market for puppy mills by ending the sale of commercially bred puppies in retail outlets.

“Unfortunately, there is a scourge in our country of inhumane commercial breeding facilities which disregard the well-being of pets for profits,” said Chesney. “To be clear, one of the best ways to stop the prevalence of these puppy mills is to significantly reduce the demand by ending transfer of pets through retail sales outlets.”

Many retailers responsibly partner with shelters rather than puppy mills to offer pet adoption events, which can continue should House Bill 1711 become law. Consumers would still be able to purchase puppies from responsible breeders. However, the direct sale of puppies in retail pet stores would end in Illinois and so would much of the abuse towards our companion animals,” according to Chesney.

“Mall pet stores have put themselves in this position due to current and past, irresponsible practices of misleading potential pet owners with baseless guarantees that pets are healthy, socialized and bred responsibly. Nothing has or could be further from the truth,” Chesney alleges. “To meet the demands of providing a constant supply of eight-week-old puppies, most retail pet stores rely on unregulated puppy mills which rear the pets in terribly unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Many of these pets arrive to their forever homes only to tragically, and quickly, die from health conditions acquired in these sickening mills.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, existing pet store laws are exceedingly weak and provide insufficient protections to consumers as well as insufficient safety protocols for the pets involved. Many Illinois communities, including Freeport, have enacted humane pet store laws including over 375 communities nationwide.

“It is past time we end puppy mills in Illinois and take this next step in drying up the market for the animals they neglect, abuse and shift the burden of care to unsuspecting Illinoisans,” said Chesney before the bill passed the House 76-24-2. The bill will now go on to the State Senate for consideration in the second chamber of the Illinois General Assembly.

Illinoisans in agreement with Chesney can sign a petition to support his call to End Puppy Mills in Illinois here.