Legislation that some say will protect pets could kill jobs, according to those who oppose the state bill.
Supporters of HB1711 say the legislation will change the requirements for where pet stores get their pets.
This means that they would be required to organize adoption events, procure dogs and cats from animal rescue groups, shelters and animal control.
But Ana Soskic, president of the Furry Babies pet store, says her business model was not designed for this.
“Not only will all of my employees lose their livelihoods, but this bill does absolutely nothing to improve animal welfare,” Soskic said. “There is simply no way to compete with big box stores like Petco, PetSmart.”
Marc Ayers, Illinois director of the Humane Society of the United States, says other pet stores have thrived on this business model, using their retail space to sell pet supplies and products.
“All of these stores are already operating on this human model,” Ayers said.
Ayers also pushed back against the idea that it would force stores to close or that customers would turn to breeders online if pet stores cut their offerings.
“The same breeders who sell invisible sight to pet stores are all selling invisible sight online,” Ayers said. “It’s the same process.”
Soskic is adamant that they do not source their pets from “shady” breeders or puppy mills.
“We also buy 95% of our dogs from the state of Ohio, which has the highest breeding standards in the country,” Soskic said.
The bill could be passed before May 31. It currently enjoys bipartisan support.