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March 18, 2019

The Illinois House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider bills tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19, that would delete consumer protection language passed in 2017 and replace it with language that would only allow pet stores to sell dogs from shelters, rescues, or breeders who have fewer than five intact females on their property.

The current law – the “Illinois Safe Pets Act” – passed in 2017 with support from the American Kennel Club, its state federation, and numerous other animal interest groups.  This law required that pet stores source only from USDA-licensed kennels that met specific standards and did not have any direct or critical non-compliant citations during an inspection.

House Bills 2933 and 3620 would remove all these requirements that protect the health and welfare of dogs and enable consumers to know the health and background of the animal prior to sale.  In addition, even though the bill allows animals to be “showcased” that are available for adoption, no background information or information on the shelter or rescue is required.

Illinois residents and those who purchase dogs in Illinois are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and express your concerns with House Bills 2933 and 3620.  Scroll down for information on how to contact the committee. 

Talking Points Against HB 2933 and HB 3620:

  • There is a belief that these bills will end substandard breeders. However, fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
  • These bills will reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.  Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
  • Hobby breeders with fewer than five intact females do not produce animals in the quantities needed to address the demand for pets, nor does allowing for pet stores to source from hobby breeders address the larger concerns in these bills.
  • These bills will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.

For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You

What You Can Do:

  • Submit an online witness slip – Comments may be submitted directly to the committee by completing an online witness slip at this link. Select the bill you wish to comment on from the list and follow the online steps.  Comments are accepted through the end of the day on March 19; however, the AKC recommends that they be submitted prior to the meeting, which begins at 3:00 pm on March 19.
  • Contact the members of the committee:

Rep. Jerry Costello, II – Chairperson
(217) 782-1018

Rep. Sonya M. Harper – Vice-Chairperson
(773) 925-6580

Rep. Charles Meier
(217) 782-6401

Rep. Darren Bailey
(217) 782-2087

Rep. Monica Bristow
(217) 782-5996

Rep. Kelly M. Burke
(217) 782-0515

Rep. Andrew S. Chesney
(217) 782-8186

Rep. Randy E. Frese
(217) 782-8096

Rep. Michael Halpin
(217) 782-5970

Rep. Jeff Keicher
(217) 782-0425

Rep. Joyce Mason
(217) 782-8151

Rep. Daniel Swanson
(217) 782-8032

Rep. Lance Yednock
(217) 782-0140

For more information on this bill, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at