Veterinarians take an oath to help animals. We trust them to keep our beloved pets healthy, and care for them when they are ill. Surprisingly, many of the major veterinary professional associations, including the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, have opposed legislative efforts taking place across the country to prohibit the retail sale of dogs and cats from puppy mills in pet stores – laws that would help animals and have a significant impact in fighting the mass cruelty of the puppy mill industry. This has led many to ask the question, do these groups really reflect the views of the veterinary community?
A new group, Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills (“VPAPM”), has been formed by two Chicago veterinarians, Dr. Scott Rovner and Dr. Jane Lohmar, to stand up to puppy mills. Drs. Rovner and Lohmar are leading the charge to take on the problem puppy mills. Along with support from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA), VPAPM’s goal are to educate consumers about where to obtain pets. They also support legislative efforts to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores, transitioning those stores to humane models. The Puppy Mill Project applauds and appreciates Drs. Rovner’s and Lohmar’s courage in taking a stand against puppy mills and speaking up for what is best for animals, setting a wonderful example and embodying the values we believe the veterinary community should uphold.
Learn more about VPAPM on their Facebook page.
More coverage on VPAPM here.
Chicago City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have issued a compelling statement in support of the Chicago Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, vowing to fight the lawsuit recently filed in federal court. City Clerk Mendoza, Mayor Emanuel, and 49 members of the Chicago City Council took a stand against puppy mills and animal cruelty when they supported this ordinance. Enforcement of the Ordinance will be delayed while this matter is litigated in federal district court. Read the full press release here.
The city of Chicago plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit at the end of March.
On March 5, 2014, the people of Chicago and our city legislators sent a clear message that the city of Chicago does not support animal cruelty by passing the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance. The ordinance passed overwhelmingly with a 49-1 vote in City Council. Led by Chicago City Clerk, Susana A. Mendoza and co-sponsored by Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st ward), Ameya Pawar (47th ward), and Scott Waguespauk (32 ward), this ordinance was a huge victory for the animal welfare community as Chicago is the second largest city (behind Los Angeles) and only major Midwestern city to prohibit the retail sale of dogs from commercial breeders. The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance allows pet stores to sell only those dogs, cats, and rabbits sourced from municipal animal control facilities and shelters or nonprofit rescues and humane societies. Pet stores had a full year to transition to a new humane model.
On February 17, only two weeks before the Chicago Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance was to take effect, two Chicago pet stores, Pocket Puppies and Park Pet Shop, and a Missouri breeder that supplies puppies to Pocket Puppies filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago asking a federal judge to rule the ordinance unconstitutional. The city agreed to delay enforcement of the ordinance while the matter is pending in court. The Puppy Mill Project worked with city legislators for over two years on this ordinance, and will be following this lawsuit very closely and assisting in any way possible. We will keep you updated on the status of this lawsuit, as well as the similar lawsuit filed in federal court against Cook County.