Chloe’s Law: Email Your Illinois Congressman

by Mary Haight on February 10, 2009

Miniature breed dogs in a puppy mill
Image via Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 10, is the date that the Illinois legislature votes on Chloe’s law (original story,1/23).  This bill, HB 198, is directed at closing down puppy mills.  If you haven’t already and would like to add your voice to this legislation you can get your two cents in early in the morning by calling your representative or email through the ASPCA.  If you need phone numbers for Springfield offices, use Google’s free 411 at 1 800 466 4411.

This is not a bill to stop hobbyists or those who show dogs professionally, as long as they keep less than 3 breeding females.  I realize the AKC is against writing new law just because current law is not enforced; however, that is not the rationale for this bill. 

Chloe’s law is focused on giving law enforcement the green light on closing the small puppy mills that litter the countryside and hide in plain sight in cities as pet shops. These are also the source of fighting dogs. Law enforcement does not now have that legal charge. 

The law will ban anyone convicted of felony-level animal cruelty from being granted a  breeding license, it will ban wire flooring, and create guidelines for heating, cooling, and ventilation.  It will require that pet stores selling animals provide a complete health history, like that which reputable breeders provide to those they choose as adopting families.  None of this is required by current law.  This law adds specific protections for animals to save them from cruelty, and cannot be lumped under the AKC’s  “nuisance regulations” category. 

I hope people who tend to agree with the AKC understand that this bill should not be dismissed as part of the flurry of  breed specific legislation and mandatory spay-neuter legislative attempts, both of which continue to be pushed by lobbyists.  I agree with the AKC on the harm that would result from enacting into law these two misguided and uninformed proposals, albeit for different reasons.  But for the AKC to fall back to a narrow philosophical stance that “education as to proper standards” would make a difference to the likes of puppy mill owners and dog fighting breeders is just unconscionable.  Read the AKC’s position.

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