Naperville City Council discusses puppy mill issue again

Pet store owners and opponents of puppy mills continued their battle before the Naperville City Council Tuesday night.

“Most of our customers don’t have any issues when they take home a puppy,” Adam Stachowiak, owner of the Naperville Petland store, said.

He went on to say that in this calendar year, only 1.1 percent of the store’s puppy sales had resulted in returns, and only .4 percent of his sales from the previous year were returns.

Animal rights advocates have been pressing the City Council in recent weeks to ban the sales of puppies bred in what they determine are unsafe conditions for the puppies, and only allow sales from rescue shelters or breeders with less than five females for breeding.

They want something similar to Chicago’s ban on puppies sold from unsanitary breeders.

But with activists describing breeders merely as large businesses that breed for profit without regard for animal welfare, City Council members are balking at any legislation.

“There’s really no clear cut definition of a puppy mill,” Councilman Bob Fieseler said.

Dianne Arp of the Companion Animal Protection Society tried to put the problem in perspective.

“These facilities breed for profit over the welfare of the dogs,” she told the City Council.

Arp also questioned Stachowiak’s figures on what percent of his sales wound up with unsatisfied customers.

“They can tell you it’s 1 percent, 1/10 of 1 percent…or 30 percent,” she said. “They can say anything. There’s no one tracking it.”

Stachowiak denied being dishonest about the figures and said that he would be happy to provide the City Council with his sales records or anything else it needs.

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