“I’m saddened that we have not done something to further this cause for the animals,” said Mayor Steve Chirico.
That was the mood for multiple Naperville City Council members after the dais failed to pass an ordinance that would require a 48-month warranty for animals purchased from pet stores.
Opponents of the warranty fell into two different groups. Councilman Paul Hinterlong didn’t want the city involved in the warranty business, as it would be difficult to enforce. Others, like many of the public speakers, felt the warranty would not do enough to prevent the sale animals bred from puppy mills.
“It was also acknowledged at the last city council meeting that the city is not going to enforce the warranty in any way,” said Amy Wolf, president of the board of directors for A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter. “So it’s just kind of a half-hearted gesture rather than a change for the better.”
A popular solution among the speakers was an ordinance similar to the City of Chicago’s – where the sales of all commercially-bred animals are banned in favor of rescues.
Councilwoman Becky Anderson agreed.
“I think it’s time that we’re the leaders on this one,” said Anderson. “That we don’t pass this amendment to this ordinance and that we go for a ban of commercially-bred pets in our stores in this city. But give a grace period, a transition period that’s long enough to help these business owners.”
The owners of both Petland and Happiness Is Pets spoke in support of the ordinance as proposed. Both claimed the Chicago model would put them out of business.
“It is important to note that the Chicago ordinance is a business killer as evidenced by the fact that over 80% of the pet stores since it was enacted in 2015 are gone,” said Petland owner Carl Swanson.
Though the warranty was dropped from discussion, council did find common ground in creating several enhanced protections for animals.
Effective August 1, shelters and pet stores are now required to microchip animals, as well as any pets impounded by Animal Control. An owned animal cannot make excessive noise, like barking that continues for more than ten consecutive minutes during the day or two minutes after 10 p.m.
And finally, owners cannot leave animals in vehicles during extreme weather conditions.
Fines for violating these provisions were also increased from $50 to $75 for the first offense, and doubling for subsequent violations.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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