“Illinois has a unique opportunity to adopt one of the strongest commercial breeding laws in the country,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “As commercial breeding increases throughout the United States, particularly in the Midwest, it is reassuring that Illinois is recognizing the need for stronger laws before the prevalence of puppy mills becomes a blight on the state’s reputation.”
As currently written, Chloe’s Bill would:
- Limit to 20 the number of unaltered dogs a breeder may possess
- Ban anyone convicted of felony-level animal cruelty from acquiring a dog-breeding license
- Prohibit wire flooring in commercial breeding facilities and create guidelines for appropriate heating, cooling and ventilation
- Require pet stores and breeders to provide customers with a dog’s full medical history
- Establish penalties for violations, ranging from fines to animal seizure and license revocation
Sponsored by State Rep. John Fritchey and State Senator Dan Kotowski, Chloe’s Bill is named for a young cocker spaniel—rescued from a Macon County, IL, puppy mill—who was present at Sunday’s press conference. Now living with one of the animal control agents involved in the raid on her kennel, Chloe is the sole survivor from her litter. Like thousands of other commercial dog breeders in the U.S., the owners of Chloe’s kennel focused on producing as many puppies as possible with little regard for the physical and mental health of their animals. The dogs found at this puppy mill were matted with feces and urine, and infested with fleas and internal parasites. Many suffered from deformed paws from living their lives on wire-floored cages.
As Rep. Fritchey explained to the media, “We are not trying to do anything drastic; we’re not trying to do anything radical. We’re trying to implement standards for what is humane care, for what is decent care.” Fritchey added that although he expects the bill will encounter some opposition, any dog breeder who would oppose it is likely to be the type of breeder that should make consumers wary.
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