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The Chicago City Council could vote on Wednesday (July 22) on a proposal that would ban hobby breeding in the city without extensive permits and requirements.

Those who reside, have registered a litter, or participate in breed rescue activities in Chicago are encouraged to reach out to the City TODAY, express your concerns, and ask them to oppose this proposal.  Ask them to delay the vote and work with animal experts on better solutions.  We encourage you to email, call, and comment on the aldermen’s social media pages.  Scroll down for more information.


Current Chicago code prohibits pet stores from sourcing from anywhere except a publicly-run shelter, pound kennel or animal control facility, or a humane society or rescue organization.  Proposed Ordinance O2020-2827 is an attempt to stop those groups and breeders that falsely identify themselves as rescues from sourcing to pet stores in the city.  AKC agrees with the city that those who are engaging in dishonest and disreputable business practices must be held accountable.

In addition to addressing this issue, however, the proposal would also make numerous changes to city pet animal ordinances that could have harmful unintended consequences, including requiring hobby breeders to obtain an animal care facility permit – which is meant for businesses such as doggie day cares and veterinary hospitals- not someone who raises dogs in their homes.  Furthermore, it is unclear if this license would be permitted to those in residential zones; and without the license, breeding would not be permitted in the city. 

Other critical changes include removing the requirement that pet stores provide basic background and health information about dogs to customers and prohibiting pet stores from showcasing/selling any rescue dog that came from a breeder or from a rescue affiliated with a breeder.

Read AKC’s previous alert for more details on this proposal.

Talking Points:

  • This proposal would basically ban hobby breeders from operating in the city, limiting the opportunity for Chicago residents to obtain a humanely raised purpose-bred dog.
  • This proposal removes important consumer protection laws. As a result, customers going to a pet store will no longer be told anything about their dog prior to taking the dog home.  This could put the dog in a situation that is not ideal for its needs, and also could please more of a burden on shelters if the dogs are simply returned to shelters/rescues.
  • This proposal implies that breeders should not be involved with rescues. Breed experts are in the best position to ensure that rescue dogs get the care and help they need.

Additional Talking Points:

The Chicago City Council will likely vote on this measure on July 22.
Those who reside in Chicago are encouraged to do the following immediately:

  • Type your address in the form on the Chicago City Clerk’s website and contact your city alderman to ask them to oppose the ordinance as currently written. Let them know you are a hobbyist and how this would impact you and your breeding program.  Let them know the steps you take to ensure the health of your dogs, and what you do to ensure the dogs you breed are in good homes.  We understand that not all emails are being received.  We encourage you to also call and leave comments on their social media. 
  • Submit your written comments, not to extend two pages, to:
  • If you wish to testify at the hearing on July 22 at 10:00 am, call (312) 744-6800 and leave a message with your name and phone number before 9:00am on Tuesday, July 21. State that you would like to testify during the public comment period on Ordinance 2020-2827. You will receive a call from the Clerk’s office with more information on how to testify remotely on the day of the hearing.

AKC Government Relations and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners are closely monitoring this proposal.  For more information, contact AKC GR at