Council Prohibits Commercially-Bred Pet Sales in Naperville

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Naperville City Council voted 5-4 to prohibit commercially-bred cat and dog sales in Naperville.

A Long-Debated Issue

The dais has debated the issue since 2014 and narrowly passed the ordinance, which is commonly referred to as a humane ordinance.

“We’ve gotten a significant amount of information that shows if you pass humane ordinances, those problems will decrease,” said Councilman Patrick Kelly, referring to nationwide problems with puppy mills. “It may not be a magic bullet that’s going to solve the problem overnight, there’s no magic bullet that’s going to solve the whole problem overnight, but it will make things better.”

Pet Sales in Naperville

Currently two pet stores sell commercially-bred animals in Naperville – Happiness is Pets and Petland. Representatives of both stores spoke at the meeting and asked the dais to wait for the state to handle this issue, or vote for a second option, which would require stricter standards of care for breeders who sell to local pet stores.

“We ask that you wait to see how the state addresses breeder standards as they did previously with legislation changing pet store sourcing standards in 2017 and pet store warranties in 2014,” said Ryan Hamel, director of operations with Petland Naperville.

Overwhelming Public Support

Some on the dais, though, felt Naperville should be leaders on this issue and the overwhelming support from the public and industry experts couldn’t be ignored.

“Much of the testimony received asked Naperville to be leaders,” said Councilwoman Patty Gustin. “We were told by a state representative who now controls Springfield, that they cannot act to protect our residents from emotional and financial loss caused by puppy mill sales and the harm to the animals themselves.”

The Votes

Gustin and Kelly were joined by Theresa Sullivan, Judy Brodhead, and Paul Hinterlong in voting for the humane ordinance. Benny White, Mayor Steve Chirico, Kevin Coyne, and John Krummen voted against the ordinance. Chirico and Coyne said the ordinance might push sales to the internet, where regulation is even more difficult.

“I think it’s pretty clear from the example in Chicago that it has not worked very well,” said Chirico. “It’s been a big step backwards. Online sales have been a huge problem in the city because people don’t have any other choice.”

Pets can still be purchased in Naperville, but they must be sourced from humane and rescue groups.

The pet sales ban will go into effect on January 1, 2021. Naperville will become the 11th municipality in Illinois to pass a humane ordinance.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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