Puppy Love

Proposed legislation cracks down on abusive puppy mills

Too many puppy mills treat their businesses like factories, looking for maximum profit for minimum input. This results in malnourishment, diseases and overall animal abuse.

State Representative John Fritchey (D-Chicago) hopes to put an end to that with new legislation.

Fritchey and animal welfare activists met Sunday at PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter, to announce proposed legislation that would regulate dog breeders and pet stores.

Chloe's Bill, named after a young dog saved from a dirty unlicensed puppy mill in Macon County, would require dog breeders to keep dogs in buildings without wire flooring and with adequate heating, cooling, and ventilation.

The legislation would also require pet stores and breeders to provide consumers with basic information about the dogs, including a complete medical history. People who have been convicted of an animal-cruelty crime would not be allowed to obtain a dog-breeding license, and breeders would be prohibited from having more than 20 dogs that are not neutered or spayed.

PAWS Chicago estimates that about 500,000 puppies a year sold in the U.S. come from puppy mills.

"This isn't something that should be considered radical," Fritchey said. "It's decent."

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