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May 26, 2010

The HSUS Praises Illinois Legislature for Approving Pet Store Disclosure Bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Illinois state legislature for unanimously passing a bill to crack down on the sale of unhealthy puppy mill dogs in Illinois pet shops. This legislation passed the Senate today and the House in March. It now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature. 

H.B. 5772, sponsored by Rep. Susana Mendoza, D-Chicago, and Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg, D-Evanston, requires pet shops to post information on or near the cages of the dogs and cats including: the name and address of each animal's breeder, a record of all veterinary conditions and/or treatments and any known information regarding congenital or hereditary defects of the animals' parents.

"This is a huge step forward for protecting consumers in Illinois and dogs across the country," said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. "Thanks to Representative Mendoza and Senator Schoenberg, pet stores will no longer be able to hide the fact that they acquire their dogs and cats from puppy or kitten mills or large out-of-state brokers that buy from such mills."

"Too many Illinois citizens have purchased puppies from pet stores only to find that their new best friend is terribly ill or even dying due to substandard breeding conditions and that they have inadvertently supported the cruel puppy mill industry" said Rep. Mendoza. "This bill gives consumers basic information about where their puppy or kitten is coming from so that they can make a more informed decision."

"Requiring the disclosure of a puppy or kitten's origin and veterinary history will allow consumers to follow up with other important questions about the health of an animal or the type of breeding facility the animal was raised in before they add that animal to their family," said Sen. Schoenberg.  "I'm pleased to have been able to pass a bill that protects families and encourages improved breeding conditions."

Puppies that survive the conditions at puppy mills are taken from their mothers for sale to pet stores at approximately eight weeks of age, when they are too young to have had their full series of vaccinations, are more susceptible to contagious diseases, and are very sensitive to stress. These puppies are often transported hundreds of miles in cramped trailers or cargo holds with inadequate temperature control, sanitation or supervision.

Illinois consumers have repeatedly complained to The HSUS and consumer organizations about pets purchased from pet stores who appeared healthy at first, only to show signs of severe illness within hours or days of purchase. Only after their puppy or kitten sickens or dies do many of these buyers discover that they have been duped into buying a pet from a puppy mill or kitten mill.

The HSUS urges consumers to acquire pets from animal shelters and responsible breeders, rather than at pet shops, and to personally visit the homes of breeders to see first-hand how their animals are treated. 

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

To learn how to adopt or buy a puppy from a reputable source, please see: humanesociety.org/puppy.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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.

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