Adopt Don’t Shop
by: Elizabeth Arias, Lea Bartos
An estimated 167,388 dogs are currently living in the United States Department of Agriculture facilities for breeding purposes. In a year, thousands of puppies are shipped into Illinois and 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters that same year. According to The Puppy Mill Project from the United States Humane Society, the projected number of puppy mills would be 10,00 including both licensed and unlicensed facilities. A puppy farm, or a mill, is a facility for quick commercial dog breeding. Thousands of commercially bred puppies are shipped into Illinois and sold from Illinois pet stores annually. These puppies often face poor living conditions in puppy mills.
In response, Williamsville H.S. Legislators, Ellie Mendenhall and Maya Holsopple decided to create a bill to fix this issue. As a requirement, all Illinois pet stores are to sell dogs and cats obtained from animal shelters. Dogs and cats obtained from breeders cannot be sold. The bill states that it will be funded by USDA programs set up in the animals welfare section. If caught selling non-shelter animals, pet stores will be fined for each offense they commit. If committed for a second offense, the pets will be taken away from the pet store owner. For a third offense, pet store owners will lose the right to sell dogs and cats.
Mendenhall and Holsopple intend for pet stores to stop the use of puppy and kitten mills and use shelter animals as an alternative. Mendenhall believes that this issue should be acknowledged in government because shelter animals deserve to get a second chance in life. Holsopple stated that the obstacle this bill could face is the fact that some people believe the welfare of animals isn’t as important as other high risk bills.