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Illinois Legislators Form Puppy Mill and Pet Store Task Force

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) applaud Illinois legislators for creating a task force that will help draft a new law to ensure that pet stores and puppy producers provide humane care for dogs. The task force is sponsored by Rep. John A. Fritchey, D-Chicago, and Sen. Daniel Kotowski, D-Mt. Prospect.

The "Joint Task Force on Breeders and Pet Stores" (SJR 0056) will investigate and make recommendations on the most effective ways to strengthen laws to protect dogs from abuses in large-scale puppy mill operations, which are often sold through pet stores and the Internet. The issues that will be examined include humane care standards at commercial breeding facilities and pet stores, accurate record keeping and protections for consumers. 

"The HSUS is grateful to Representative Fritchey and Senator Kotowski for their tireless work to protect man's best friend," said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "This task force provides hope for dogs that suffer in abusive puppy mills every day in our state."

"The ASPCA is very hopeful that the creation of the Joint Task Force on Breeders and Pet Stores will shed some light on what is really going on inside Illinois' breeding facilities," said Cori A. Menkin, senior director of legislative initiatives for the ASPCA. "The resulting legislation will potentially have a significant impact on the lives of the thousands of dogs housed in them." 

The task force will be comprised of members appointed by the House and Senate, members of the Department of Agriculture, dog breeders, pet store owners and several appointed members of the animal welfare community.

Puppy Mill Facts

  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction and are confined inside cramped wire-floored cages for life.
  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • There is little regard for the dogs' health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.
  • Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.
  •  Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008 to crack down on puppy mills.
  • More than a dozen states are currently considering puppy mill legislation. State legislatures in Washington state and Indiana passed laws this year to crack down on puppy mills.

Dog loving Illinois residents should contact their elected officials to encourage them to crack down on abusive mass scale puppy mills. Find contact info for elected officials at humanesociety.org/leglookup.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit humanesociety.org/puppymills or aspca.org/puppymills.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501[c][3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit aspca.org.

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