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.