“The bark stops here.”

It seems as though Illinois legislators have taken this notion to heart when making decisions on public policy regarding the state’s pet stores. Governor Pat Quinn recently announced proposed legislation banning the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

A sign that HSUS is continuing efforts to demonize those involved in the pet industry, attempting to regulate responsible breeders out of business.

Illinois Senate Amendment 1 to House Bill 4056 would require retail pet stores to sell only those dogs and cats they have acquired from an animal shelter or animal control facility. This comes on the heels of similar measures passed throughout major cities across the nation like Chicago, IL and San Diego, CA.

What is truly remarkable about this statewide proposal is that it could have cataclysmic effects on nationwide policy going forward. This would be the first statewide ban on the retail sale of pets in pets stores in the United States.

Several pet store owners and employees face the possibility of losing their jobs, and many pet stores will be forced to close their doors if HSUS has its way.

In a blog post from earlier last year, we wrote about San Diego’s city-wide ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores. Animal rights extremists bombarded the city council with their demands, one member going as far as saying, “In my world, a responsible breeder is the same as a responsible drug dealer.”

The ban immediately forced the closure of local pet shop businesses. These were people who treated their animals with respect, but due to accusations and claims made from activists, the industry that they loved to work in could not survive.

San Diego was just one of several dozen cities in the U.S. that have enacted such laws. A statewide ban in Illinois would be the next stepping stone for animal rights groups to continue pushing their radical agenda to the rest of the country.

Chicago’s city ban, voted on in March, provided the leap to the pursuit of a statewide ban. Veterinary groups strongly opposed the ban. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association stated, “We strongly believe that ongoing education of the public is a much more effective method to increase pet owner awareness and bring about the desired positive change necessary to address valid concerns regarding unethical, unscrupulous breeders who are the ultimate problem.”

That says it all. Responsible pet breeders whose lives revolve around protecting and providing care for their animals are not the problem and should not be the target.

Legislators in Illinois only seem to be listening to people who claim to be experts, but are not – people like Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS. They can do so because HSUS has the money and the aggressive agenda. They move from city to city, state to state, supporting whatever cause is the flavor of the minute.

You can tell a lot about someone based upon their actions and words. Pacelle’s priorities and true colors can be summed up all in one simple statement, “If I had my personal view perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another cat or dog born.”

Animal ownership is a responsibility that many people take seriously. It is not a vicious practice that animal rights groups have made it out to be. We need to support the people in Illinois and other states, whose breeders and pet stores are facing a loss to their way of life, because before you know it, HSUS’s next target could be your city.

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