The Illinois state legislature on May 26 unanimously passed the Pet Store Disclosure Bill (H.B. 5772) into law with the efforts of Representatives Susan Mendoza (D- Chicago) and Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston).
The law requires that pet stores display pertinent information about each animal near the cages. That information includes the breeder’s name and address, a record of veterinary conditions, medical treatments performed, and any information concerning congenital defects.
Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director of the Humane Society, called the move an important step. “This law will finally give consumers the information they need to make a decision they’ll feel good about. Pet stores cannot hide if their dogs or cats came from a mill.”
Still, Matyas advises that consumers ask questions and do significant research. “This is a good starting point for consumers,” he says. “You don’t need to buy your pet that day. You can go home and research the breeder before you bring this pet home.”
The passage of this bill is only one of many efforts to stop puppy and kitten mills. A number of cities around the United States, including ones in California and Florida, have already banned the sale of all dogs and cats in pet stores, and a similar national effort is underway.
Tomorrow, May 28, the Humane Society will hold a press conference with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin announcing the introduction of the PUPS Act (Puppy Uniform Protection Statute), which would close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that does not subject breeders that sell online and directly to the public to licensing, regulation, and inspection. Other states will introduce companion bills within the next few days.
Read more on the Humane Society’s efforts to stop puppy mills at HumaneSociety.org/PuppyMills. –Brendan Quealy