Pet store protests bill that would ban puppy mills in Illinois | Politics

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FREEPORT (WREX) — A bill introduced in the office of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker could ban puppy mills, a large-scale, for-profit pet breeding business that often leaves animals in dangerous conditions and prone to disease. Not everyone is in favor of the legislation.

Representatives of the Furry Babies pet store protested the legislation Thursday outside Representative Andrew Chesney’s office in Freeport. Representative Chesney introduced the bill earlier this year.

Store officials say the proposed legislation does not address the root of the problem.

“At the end of the day, the lives of the puppies matter, the health of the puppies matters and where they come from matters. So I think we need to focus on that versus the middle man, basically what a furry baby or a pet store would be,” said Austin Young, general manager of Furry Babies pet store in Rockford.

Store representatives also say the closure would cost hundreds of people their jobs. Rep. Chesney says that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“And my position is that if you have a job where you hurt animals, we need to find a new job and we need to change your behaviors,” Chesney said.

The 1711 House Bill was passed by the Illinois General Assembly with bipartisan support and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

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