On Wednesday, April 9, the Cook County Board of Commissioners will conduct a hearing on The Cook County Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance and we need your help.

This ordinance is bad for Cook County pet owners, Cook County pets, and the well-regulated, legitimate pet businesses that serve you and your animals in our communities. This misguided attempt to eliminate bad, mostly out of state breeders who run puppy mills and similar dangerous operations will in fact have the opposite effect. This will not get rid of bad breeders or puppy mills; they will still find a market online and at unregulated “animal swaps”.

We are a USDA-approved and licensed business and we comply with the stringent USDA regulations for purchasing, maintaining and selling the pets we have in our store. This ordinance would prevent us from selling kittens and rabbits. It also affects the sale of pure-bred puppies, which we do not sell at The Animal Store.


Why This is Important

This kind of superficial legislation does not put an end to animal cruelty and limits consumer freedoms. In fact, limiting regulated pet stores’ sales simply increases the use of unregulated sources like rogue Internet sites to obtain their ideal pet. This increases the market share for bad, out-of-state breeders since responsible pet stores in Cook County that rely on the sale of companion animals will go out of business. It also results in a ban on the retail sale of kittens, rabbits, and purebred puppies as the responsible pet stores in the county would not be able to provide them to consumers.

Instead, the people of Cook County must work together and identify ways to address bad, out-of-state breeders and work toward eliminating those who operate under the radar without damaging animal welfare, hurting local businesses, and limiting consumer freedom.

Remember, this ordinance will limit the ability of Cook County residents to choose where they obtain a healthy, happy puppy, kitten, or rabbit. If we don’t voice our beliefs at the hearing or send an email to the County Commissioners, this ordinance will:

Become Cook County’s law of unintended consequences. This ordinance would encourage people to use unregulated sources like rogue Internet sites as well as increase the market share for bad, out-of-state breeders-achieving the opposite of what the ordinance is meant to address.

Hurt animal welfare . Banning the sale of pets sourced from responsible USDA-licensed breeding facilities hurts animal welfare and removes consumer protections other sources, like the Internet, do not have. This provides fertile ground for the unregulated black market for pets to flourish.

Put responsible, local pet stores in the County out of business . Responsible pet stores in the County provide the community with healthy, happy pets and rely heavily on the sale of pets as part of their business model. Diminished pet sales will not only hurt pet stores’ bottom lines, it will also result in lower sales of other pet products in stores. This will lead to the County’s pet stores going out of business and cost local residents their jobs. The future of pet stores is in jeopardy. Is that the kind of business environment that Cook County wants to promote?

What Can You Do?

If possible, attend the hearing:

Wednesday, April 9, 11:00 a.m.
Board Room, Cook County Building
118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL

If you are unable to attend, please use this easy form to let the Commissioners know that you are against The Cook County Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance.

Thank you for your support. We love serving the pets of Cook County and their families.