Council Update

A handful of residents addressed the council asking for a city-wide ordinance banning the sale of dogs raised in large breeding operations they consider puppy mills at Naperville pet stores.

The speakers said those large-scale breeders keep the dogs in deplorable conditions, which result in long-term health problems.

Instead, they suggested that stores should sell rescued animals instead of adding to the pet surplus.

“My concern is there is already a saturation in the market and if you increase the saturation of dogs and people that cannot re-home them,” said Anna Payton, Executive Director of the Naperville Area Humane Society. “And it increases the number of people surrendering their dogs which directly impacts A.D.O.P.T and my organization.”

Owners from both Naperville pet stores, Petland and Happiness is Pets, also spoke to the council, saying they don’t buy their dogs from puppy mills. They used USDA licensed breeders.

“As pet store owners, we believe puppy mills are those operating outside of the laws set forth by the Department of Agriculture or have violations that directly impact the dogs in their care,” said the owner of Petland, Mike Isaac. “These are breeders we already do not buy from.”

Councilman Steve Chirico said to keep in mind the council shouldn’t lump all pet shops together, because some may purchase from licensed breeders.

The council agreed that because the topic wasn’t an agenda item, they needed to become more educated on the topic before moving forward.

City staff, including Animal Control, was directed to create a report to be presented to the council in August.

Both Chicago and Cook County have bans on selling pets from large-scale breeders.

The group also heard opinions from both sides of the debate for a $66,000 downtown sound system.

“Fundamentally, we believe that adding a sound system that’s primary use is for special events at special times of the year,” said Katie Wood, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance. “The holiday season primarily with carefully selected music at a pleasing volume is a wonderful amenity that infuses joy, creates a festive spirit, and ultimately makes people want to linger in our downtown.”

But for some residents, that plan is not exactly music to their ears.

“I don’t particularly understand why people would want music playing down there,” said resident Michael Firman.

Because the group had more questions than answers, they voted 5-4 against allowing staff to begin the bidding process; the project’s fate is now up in the air.

Staff will now work to find the answers to questions like: how will the music be selected? Where would the speakers be installed? How could it affect residents living downtown? And would establishments who currently play their own music be impacted?

And residents who want to recycle will have to pay $36, or $3 monthly, for a new recycling cart.

The council approved the fees that will cover about 80% of the project with the rest coming from the city.

The carts, that come in 33, 65, and 95 gallon sizes are only mandatory for people who want to recycle.

The city said they would continue to look for ways to reduce the cost that is passed onto the residents.

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