Naperville to study concerns about ‘puppy mills’

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

A contingent of activists are petitioning Naperville City Council to ban the sale of dogs raised in puppy mills.

Attorney Sherri Oslick told City Council Tuesday night that she had recently read an online article that described Naperville as the “puppy mill outlet capital of the country,” saying that dogs obtained from puppy mills are raised in “deplorable conditions with no safeguards.”

A petition calling for the ban was signed by 850 people. The council ended up directing city staff to research the issue and report back within 60 days with findings from experts.

“This is all new to us,” Councilman Paul Hinterlong said. “We definitely need to be educated before we move on this.”

There were about 25 people in Council Chambers protesting puppy mills, many speaking during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Dee Santucci, co-chairwoman of the Education Committee of The Puppy Mill Project, said that polls show 70 percent of Americans are opposed to puppy mills. She echoed Oslick’s comments about puppy’s raised in inhumane conditions.

She also said that the standards licensed breeders operate under are actually more appropriate for livestock.

“It’s legal to keep them in a cage 6 inches larger than they are,” Santucci said. “Excluding their tails.”

Councilman Steve Chirico pointed out that it might be unfair to lump all dog breeders together. He asked if she had ever visited a licensed breeder and she said “no puppy mill is going to let us (visit) … it’s just livestock to them. They are there to make money.”

Several other speakers agreed with Santucci, but the owners of Petland Naperville objected strongly to any characterization of their business.

Adam Stachowiak denied that any of the puppies they sold were raised in the conditions described by the group, and said banning the sale of puppies from licensed breeders is not the answer.

His partner Mike Isaac, said the activists were playing on people’s emotions.

“They tug at your heartstrings,” he said, noting that a blanket rule to end the sale of puppies from licensed breeders was the equivalent of banning the sale of all T-shirts within city limits because some might have been made in sweatshops.

Hinterlong asked if the partners were satisfied with the service of the breeders they dealt with and Isaac said, “absolutely,” and noted that they had discontinued business with some breeders that didn’t meet their standards.

Isaac was happy with the City Council’s decision to research the issue, saying, “we think everybody should be educated on the subject.”

Santucci agreed.

“They need to get testimony from experts,” she said.

Tags: ,

0 Comments

Modal