The Chicago City Council has passed a revised ordinance that further regulates pet store sourcing but removed the hobby breeder requirements that would have placed onerous and potentially impossible requirements on hobbyists in the city.
For the past year, AKC Government Relations and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO) have been working to communicate our concerns with a proposal that the sponsor said was meant to close a loophole where organizations falsely identifying themselves as rescues were selling pets at wholesale to Chicago pet stores. AKC agreed that the loophole needed to be closed, but expressed strong concerns with language that would have harmed responsible breeders and rescues not involved in the questionable activity.
Specifically, Ordinance 2020-2827 as introduced also included several new regulations for hobbyists. This included mandating that hobby breeders obtain an animal facility license (which requires on site staff and also cannot be obtained in an residential zoned area) and mandatory sterilization for violations unless the litter was given to a local shelter.
AKC and IFDCO worked with local veterinarians and others to communicate the many concerns with the hobby breeder regulations, including meeting with key councilmembers and testifying in hearings.
AKC thanks the dog enthusiasts/hobbyists who joined us in communicating your opposition. As a result, all language regulating hobby breeders was removed from the final version of the ordinance.
Language does remain that would not allow rescues affiliated with breeders to provide pets for sale (including adoption) at pet stores in the city. Current law only allows pet stores to source from shelters and rescues.
For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.