Pet Store Owner Says Proposed Illinois Law Will Force Business To Close

The state of Illinois bill aims to protect pets, but some worry it'll kill jobs.

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Legislation that some say will protect pets could kill jobs, according to those who oppose the state bill.

Supporters of HB1711 say the legislation will change the requirements on where pet stores source their pets.

This means they would be required to hold adoption events, sourcing dogs and cats from animal rescue groups, shelters and animal control.

But Ana Soskic, president of Furry Babies pet store, says her business model wasn’t set up for that.

"Not only will all of my employees lose their livelihoods, but this bill does absolutely nothing to improve animal welfare," said Soskic. "There’s just no way we can compete with big box stores like Petco, PetSmart."

Marc Ayers, the Illinois Director of the Humane Society of the United States, says other pet stores have thrived on this business model, using their retail space to sell pet supplies and products.

"All of these stores already operate on this humane model," said Ayers.

Ayers also pushed back on the idea that it will force stores to close or that customers will turn to online breeders if pet stores reduce their offerings.

"The same breeders that sell sight unseen to pet stores all sell sight unseen online," said Ayers. "It’s the same process."

Soskic is adamant that they don’t source their pets from "shady" breeders or puppy mills.

"We also source 95% of our dogs from the state of Ohio, which has the strictest breeder standards in the country," said Soskic.

The bill could pass before May 31. It currently has bipartisan support.

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