The so-called “puppy mills” that allegedly permit large dog breeders who provide poor living conditions for dogs, has seen a federal judge in Cook County delay the new law targeting them.
The law was originally due to take effect on October 1 and the case is now expected to be heard on October 22.
“I think people can rest assured that people can get their Christmas puppies and their Easter bunnies in April next year,” said David Fish, the lawyer representing the pet store owners who sued the county.
The owners of Petland of Hoffman Estates, Petland of Chicago Ridge and the five Happiness is Pets stores located across the suburbs filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court to block the Cook County ordinance targeting large-scale breeders that critics contend provide poor living conditions and produce unhealthy pets. The Missouri Pet Breeders Association, which claims its state is home to more breeders than any other state, is also named a plaintiff.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office agreed to postpone enforcing the law, which was set to take effect Oct. 1, until after a judge rules on the complaint, according to a Thursday court order. The case is expected to be heard next on Oct. 22.
Although the state’s attorney is representing the County Board on the ordinance, it wasn’t involved in establishing the law. The county’s lawyers are not fighting the injunction because they also need time to ensure the case could be “fully and fairly” litigated, said Steve Campbell, a spokesman.
“Our office wasn’t asked to review the ordinance prior to its introduction to the County Board,” Campbell said. “We didn’t have anything to do with it before.”
The ordinance, which allows home-rule municipalities to opt out, would limit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits to those that come from rescue groups, humane societies, government-run shelters or federally licensed breeders who use no more than five reproducing females.
The lawsuit contends the ban is unconstitutional because it is overly vague, according to the Chicago Tribune report.