holmes pet store 052821SPRINGFIELD – A measure to compel pet stores to get their animals from animal shelters or animal control facilities passed the Senate Monday, co-sponsored by Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), in an effort to discourage the sale of pets from unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills and instead provide loving homes to animals who need them most.

“I’m proud to join in House Bill 1711 to push legislation on a pet store business model that has been growing across the U.S.,” Holmes said. “Puppy mills are a major source of animals for many pet stores, but their breeding practices result in sick and sometimes terminally ill animals, which can result in heartache for families.”

The legislation amends the Animal Welfare Act to provide that all dogs and cats sold at pet stores be sourced from animal control facilities or animal shelters. The bill also provides that pet stores that violate this new requirement will be prohibited from selling cats or dogs, regardless of how they are sourced.

The measure is an initiative of the Illinois Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States to end the sale of puppy mill pets. It represents an effort to encourage pet stores to instead provide adoptable animals from shelters and focus on sales of pet food, toys, training aids and pet apparel.

“Thousands of available animals are waiting in shelters for good homes, and they can find them with extra exposure and availability in pet stores,” Holmes said. “There are so many animals in shelters that need good homes, and I see this as a win for animals and their families.”

House Bill 1711, sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), advanced out of the House unanimously in April and passed the Senate Monday.