Urgent! Complete a Witness Slip Opposing Illinois HB 2824 before noon on March 8.

i Mar 3rd No Comments by

Submit a Witness Slip opposing HB 2824

We need your help!  We need everyone in Illinois who loves dogs and cats to complete and submit a Witness Slip to OPPOSE Illinois HB 2824.  The hearing for this Bill is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 8 at 1:30 pm in Springfield, so you must take action before then.  Just click through the link and follow these directions.

It is highly recommended that you do this using a computer instead of a mobile device as the form can be tricky to navigate.

Click here to access the HB 2824 Witness Slip

How to Create a Witness Slip


Fill in your first and last name, street address, city and zip code.  In the field “Firm, Business or Agency”, enter the name of your organization, or enter “Self” if you are an individual and enter “N/A” in the “Title” field. All fields are required. Please Note:  You will not be able to submit a Witness Slip that contains a slash ( “/” ) in any field.


Enter the name of your organization, or enter “Self”.


Click on the button to select “Opponent.” Make sure you click inside the round button, and check to be sure it is highlighted.  It is a good idea to use the scroll bar to navigate the screen, as the arrow keys may accidentally change your selection!


Click on the button to select  “Record of Appearance Only.”
Double check to be sure your position is set to “Opponent,” check the box “I agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement,” complete the Captcha test, then click “Create.”  You should receive a confirmation email.

Click here to access the HB 2824 Witness Slip

Urgent – Take action against Illinois SB 1882 and HB 2824!

i Feb 21st No Comments by

Two companion bills have been introduced in the Illinois legislature that would overturn the Chicago Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance that prohibits pet stores from selling dogs and cats from inhumane breeding operations, in addition to invalidating similar ordinances in Cook County, Waukegan, and Warrenville.

At first glance, these bills appear to offer additional protections for animals – and we share and support their stated
goals of protecting consumers, increasing transparency in the sourcing of dogs and cats, and screening out inhumane
breeders. We also support the bills’ microchipping requirements. However, one section of these bills (Section 3.8) is
misguided and will be extremely harmful to consumers and animals. Section 3.8 legitimizes sourcing dogs from
inhumane breeding operations, relies on information that is no longer available for its enforcement, and prohibits cities from enacting their own laws regarding the sourcing and sale of dogs and cats in their communities.

Why is this legislation bad for animals and consumers?

  1. It will not screen out inhumane breeders. This legislation offers limited restrictions on where pet stores can source dogs and cats, requiring breeders to have a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) license and meet nominal inspection criteria – but a USDA license and clean record do not mean that a breeder is humane. USDA standards are barely survival standards. Dogs can live in cages only six inches larger than their bodies for 24 hours a day. Stacked cages, mesh or wire flooring, and unlimited breeding are all acceptable. These facilities tend to mass produce puppies and operate solely for profit. USDA licensure sounds reassuring to a consumer but in reality it accomplishes very little.
  2. It does not create transparency. This legislation ties its standards to information that is no longer available.
    Prior to January 2017, USDA breeder inspection records were publicly accessible through an online search tool.
    However, these records have now been removed from the USDA website indefinitely. Even more troubling, the
    legislation states that a pet store is considered in compliance even if the USDA records are unavailable. These
    bills were introduced after the USDA search tool had been removed – rendering the bills’ purported safeguards
    meaningless. There is currently no means for a consumer to research a breeder’s USDA record.
  3. This legislation denies cities and towns in Illinois the authority to make their own laws protecting consumers and animals. These bills would overturn ordinances in Chicago, Cook County, Waukegan, and Warrenville –similar to legislation passed in more than 200 municipalities across the United States. These cities have determined that the sourcing and sale of dogs and cats is an issue of local concern for their communities and
    Illinois home rule units should be able to pass their own legislation as appropriate.

What can you do?

Contact the sponsors and co-sponsors of these bills in the Illinois House and Senate and tell them that you appreciate their efforts and concern for these issues, but Section 3.8 must be eliminated in its entirety.

Tell them that removing the home rule provision (Section 3.8(e)) is NOT ENOUGH – keeping the rest of Section 3.8 explicitly allows pet stores to source from inhumane breeders without any means of researching those breeders.

Contact your own representative and senator (even if they are not sponsors of this bill) and tell them that animal welfare is important to you and that there is dangerous legislation (SB 1882/HB 2824) pending that you do not support.

If you live in Chicago: Call your alderman. Tell him or her that there is state legislation that will invalidate a city
ordinance and deny Chicago’s home rule authority on an issue that is very important to you. Ask them to voice their
opposition to SB 1882/HB 2824 and stand up for Chicago’s right to regulate the source of dogs and cats sold in our
community. You can also do this for your Cook County Commissioner if you live in Cook County.

How to Contact your Representatives

Illinois House of Representatives Contacts:

State Representative Jerry Costello, II (representative who introduced the bill, representing the 116th District): (618)
282-7284 or staterepcostello@gmail.com

Lawrence M. Walsh Jr. (chief co-sponsor, representing the 86th District, including Joliet): (815) 730-8600 or

State Representative Norine Hammond (chief co-sponsor, representing the 93rd District): (309) 836-2707 or

Randy Frese (chief co-sponsor, representing the 94th District): (217) 223-0833 or repfrese@adams.net

State Rep John C. D’Amico (chief co-sponsor, representing the 15th District): (773) 736-0218 or johnd@ilga.gov

State Representative Margo McDermed (chief co-sponsor, representing the 37th District): (815) 277-2079 or

Copy & paste to email them all at once: staterepcostello@gmail.com; rephammond@macomb.com; repfrese@adams.net; johnd@ilga.gov; statereplarrywalshjr@gmail.com; McDermed@ilhousegop.org

Illinois Senate Contacts:

Michael E. Hastings (senator who introduced the bill, representing the 19th District including Joliet and other
communities): (815) 464-5431 or http://senatorhastings.com/contact-me

State Senator Jil Tracy (co-sponsor representing the 47th District): (217) 223-0837

Senator Emil Jones III (chief co-sponsor representing the 14th District): (773) 995-7748
or http://senatoremiljones.com/contact-us

Senator William R. Haine (co-sponsor representing the 56th District): (618) 465-4764
or http://www.senatorhaine.com/contact-us

New co-sponsor added, State Senator Sam McCann (representing the 50th District): (217) 245-0050 or

Locate your State Senator and State Representative: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

City of Chicago Alderman Lookup:

For more information, contact The Puppy Mill Project at info@thepuppymillproject.org.

Download this post on IL SB 1882 and HB 2824 as a PDF

The Chicago Pet Project Book now available at select shops

i Dec 20th No Comments by

In addition to being available online, The Puppy Mill Project’s limited edition coffee table book, The Chicago Pet Project, is now available in select locations in the Chicago area. It is the perfect gift for pet lovers. Proceeds from this gorgeous book go to provide medical care for dogs rescued from the horrors of puppy mills.

The book is now available at the following locations:

Bentley’s Pet Stuff
743 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL  60202

Dog Patch Pet & Feed
1108 E. Ogden Avenue
Naperville, IL  60563

Stumble and Relish
1310 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL  60201

2035 N. Damen
Chicago, Illinois  60647

The Chicago Pet Project can also be conveniently purchased online.

Furry Babies settles lawsuit

i Sep 12th No Comments by

We are pleased to share the following update with you:

Pet Store Chain Accused of Selling Unhealthy Puppy Mill Dogs Settles Lawsuit

CHICAGO — Consumers and puppies in Chicago are the winners in a lawsuit against local pet store chain Furry Babies, Inc. After multiple failed requests to dismiss the case, Furry Babies has settled the consumer lawsuit, which alleged that the chain was violating consumer protection laws by selling sick puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting customers. In a settlement reached on Friday, Sept. 9, Furry Babies agreed to terms put forth by the legal power behind the case—the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Humane Society of the United States and international law firm Locke Lord LLP.

The highlight of the settlement agreement requires Furry Babies to verify the specific source of each puppy, including specific breeders when the puppies are acquired through puppy brokers. Brokers serve as an intermediary between breeders and buyers and can conceal the puppy mills where animals originate. While Furry Babies can still buy from puppy brokers, it must verify that the original breeder has no critical or direct Animal Welfare Act violations on its last USDA inspection report. The settlement also requires Furry Babies to be more transparent about the source of its puppies by noting on each puppy’s cage that that the veterinarian’s report card and the breeder’s last USDA inspection report are available upon request, and must provide these documents when a puppy is purchased. The company must also note on their website that they purchase puppies from brokers in addition to breeders.

These changes go a long way toward offering consumers vital information about where they get puppies. Furry Babies and other pet stores are often accused of hiding dogs’ puppy mill origin now that many consumers choose not to support the cruel puppy mill industry. Such breeding facilities treat puppies as cash crops instead of pets, employing horrendous standards of care for the dogs and producing sick animals prone to illness, injury, genetic and behavioral problems.

“We are thrilled by the terms of this settlement, which advance the rights of purchasers who do not want to support puppy mills,” says Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Such disreputable facilities treat puppies like cheap commodities and can foist thousands of dollars in veterinary bills on unsuspecting consumers. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating the resolution of the Furry Babies case as a major win for puppies and for Chicago consumers.”

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, and thanks the Humane Society of the United States and international law firm Locke Lord LLP for their work on this case.

The original post is accessible here.

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day & March on Michigan Avenue

i Aug 19th No Comments by

In Chicago and countless cities across the nation, animal welfare advocates will recognize National Puppy Mill Awareness Day on Sept 18, 2016. Join The Puppy Mill Project as we march down Michigan Avenue. Everyone is welcome but please sign up so we know how many attendees to plan for.  Sign up here.

Animal rescue organizations are encouraged to walk with us, bring their signage and wear their rescue t shirts.

We will assemble at 12pm at Plaza of the Americas, on the west side of Michigan Avenue, just north of the Wrigley Building. We will walk to Oak Street and back.

Refreshments will be served in the Plaza of the Americas after the march.

Please join us and bring friends! Dogs are welcome, but all dogs must be leashed.

There will be a blessing of the animals on the plaza when we’ve finished the walk. Chicago Police Department Chaplain Bob Montelongo will do a blanket blessing for all animals present, and then will be available for individual blessings for those who want them.