JOLIET – The city’s on-again, off-again plans to tightly restrict pet store puppy sales are on hold.
A Joliet City Council committee reviewed a potential ordinance that likely would shut down the one remaining pet store selling puppies – Furry Babies.
A lengthy debate that included comments from many proponents of tougher restrictions ended when Council member Jan Quillman, the leading advocate for the ordinance, called for it to be tabled.
Quillman said she wanted to review the ordinance and see what happens in Crest Hill, which also is considering tighter rules on pet store puppy sales.
Numerous people spoke in favor of tighter rules on dog sales at the meeting of the Land Use and Legislative Committee.
“I don’t believe puppies should be sold at pet stores no matter where they come from,” said Peggy Grandahl, founder of Paws Crossed Rescue Resource in Joliet. “People who breed dogs for pet stores breed dogs for money no matter what the costs.”
Three other City Council members at the meeting appeared reluctant to approve an ordinance that likely would make it impossible to sell dogs at a pet store.
The Joliet ordinance likely would be the same one passed in Chicago restricting pet store sales of dogs, cats and rabbits to animals obtained from animal control centers, humane societies or a rescue organization.
The ordinance was first proposed in early 2015 by former Councilman Jim McFarland. But it was put on hold when city lawyers said Joliet should wait until a similar law being challenged in Chicago was being challenged in court.
Interim City Manager Marty Shanahan on Tuesday reported that the Chicago law was upheld by a state appellate court.
“If the city decides to move forward with this, I would suggest the city mirror Chicago because it’s already been challenged,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan also said the ordinance would likely lead to Furry Babies shutting down “under their current model,” which is based on buying dogs from breeders.
Furry Babies store owner Ana Soskik was at the meeting and said the store would close if it could only sell dogs from animal control centers, rescue organizations and humane societies.
Committee Chairman Terry Morris questioned why anyone would go to a pet store to buy a dog they could get at a shelter.
“When you get it from a shelter or Animal Control, you’re not paying for it,” Morris said.
Shanahan told the committee that it could also consider using a new state law that would limit pet stores to sell dogs bought from licensed breeders.