If Not This Naperville City Council, Then Who?

There was a time not that long ago, when Naperville city officials would take some bold positions and prided themselves for being on the cutting edge of doing what’s right. This surely was not the case at the last Naperville city council meeting when the hot topic on the agenda for the evening was discussion about Naperville’s Animal Control Ordinance, and specifically the sale of commercially bred animals ( primarily puppies) by pet stores.

City council members now and previously have been moving forward at the speed of pouring cold honey in resolving the issue. City officials have been hoping someone else would make the decision for them, including State of Illinois officials (not happening), Federal Law by creating the 28th amendment to the Constitution (not happening), or possibly with the 11th Commandment being found on a mountain top.

The scenario is always the same. The topic finally makes the agenda, many loving pet owners attend expressing their passion for pet protection, pet store owners present their position for making a huge profit in order to stay in business, council members mention the tough position they are in for making a decision, a few little tweaks are made to the ordinance, a vote is taken usually resulting in a unanimous decision (to appear in agreement), the meeting adjourns, the lights are turned out, and some members of the council head downtown to tip a few brews at their favorite establishment. The only thing different this time, it was too late for brews because the meeting lasted 5.5 hours finishing at about 12:30am.

When the dust settled after the discussion, a few ordinance tweaks resulted including:

  • Requiring pet stores to promote microchipping
  • Reducing allowable barking time after 10PM from ten minutes to two minutes maximum
  • Increasing fines for breaking existing ordinance rules
  • Dogs can’t look out the window (OK, that one is not real…..yet)

Left out were the sourcing of dogs (puppies and cats) for sale by pet stores, and requiring a four-year warranty on the health of dogs and cats. In essence, pet stores will not need to change their business model and will continue, for the most part, doing business as usual. If this topic would have been a heavy-weight boxing match, pet stores would have defeated pet lovers by a TKO (technical knock out) with the help of the referee (city council).

More than four years of talking by the Naperville city council, and that’s the best they could do. Shameful, considering many other cities (including Austin, Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, etc.) and entire States (California, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington) have taken bold positions to protect puppies, cats, etc.

Here’s an idea for pet stores to stay in business, rather than making huge profits on the backs of puppies, how about selling more fish.

Show 8 Comments


  1. Snowball Inhell

    When large campaign donors, “friends” of council, and appointees by the mayor, stand to lose money on a puppymill restrictions, you can bet the animal farm, the council isn’t on the side of doing whats right or of puppies. Everyone is equal, some are just more equal than other.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I have seen the campaign finance disclosures for present council members and did not see any that appeared to came for any source that has a financial interest in preserving puppy mill sells (this documents are publicly available on the DuPage Website). So which donations are you specifically referring too? Also which appointees are you specifically referring too? Unsubstantiated claims only put your credibility in doubt.

      • Kerin

        During the last mayoral election, Mayor Chirico received $1000.00 from Canine Registrations owned by Mike Isaac and Adam Stachowiak (owners of Petland at the time. Current owner of Third Party Pets , Pawsitive Solutions along with Canine Registrations which are service providers to Petland National and the AKC, $650 from Happiness is Pets and $500 from the parents of Adam Stachowiak.

        • James Haselhorst

          First Mike Issac never owned Petland. His husband owned Petland at the time they got married, but he sold Petland at before Chirico was elected mayor.

          Third party pets is a consulting firm that helps anyone involved in the pet industry develop customer satisfaction policies and procedures (including companies like Dog Patch).

          Pawsitive Solutions is a canine training school and provides boarding services as well. They do no business with pet stores just pet owners.

          Canine Registrations is another consulting firm that works with pet owners in getting, as the name implies, pets registered with national kennel clubs like the UKC, AKC, NKC etc. These organization have the stated mission of promoting purebred animal awareness, most notable through a large network of annual animal shows.

          Even if there were a connection between these companies and people to commercial breeders you are talking about $2150 in donation to a campaign the exceeded $100,000 in donation and spent only half of this amount. Clearly not a donation amount that would be considered significant or critical to Chirico’s campaign by anyone.

          Finally, Chirico is only one of nine members on the city council. The “puppy mill” ordinances that have been before council so far have fail by more then one vote.

          While I appreciated and sympathize with your passion on this issue slandering council members will not help your cause. Seating down and meeting with these members to discuss solutions that will hold up in court, be possible to enforce and actually have an impact or help remediate the problem well, however, in some way will move a workable solution forward.

          • Kerin

            Mr. Isaac and and his husband sold Petland to Carl Swanson in Sept. 2015, as Mr. Swanson stated at the council meeting. Mr. Chirico was already mayor.

            Agree that Third Party pets will work with any pet store. All of the testimonials on their website are from Petland.

            Pawsitive Solutions may sell training services in conjunction to being the warranty service provider to Petland.

            You can’t slander someone with the truth.

  2. Kerin

    As an animal lover, I would like to thank Councilwomen Becky Anderson, Judith Brodhead, and Patty Gustin and Councilman Paul Hinterlong for the open minds and compassionate hearts at the June 19, 2018 Naperville City Council meeting. We animal lovers DID NOT want the warranty or the sourcing clauses in the ordinance. It set animal welfare back 25 years. I do not believe the “pet stores defeated” us. While we may still be at square 1, we are not at -1.

    An extended warranty was a very bad idea because:
    ·puppies are not products
    ·the pet stores policed themselves with spot checking by Naperville Animal Control
    ·relied on out of state “breeders” to provide the full inspection report, with no way to ascertain if it was the complete report.
    ·no monetary coverage over the cost of the pet. Customers testified to spending thousands on vet care.
    ·Fines for pet store infractions were ridiculously low, beginning at $75 and topping out at $300.

    Not addressing where the pets come from was also a deal breaker for us. A pet store puppy IS a puppy mill puppy.

    What Naperville needs, instead, is to catch the wave of a real humane reform sweeping the nation. Over 260 cities, 2 states and 3 states on the cusp have adopted or will soon adopt a ban on the sale of USDA commercially bed dogs (puppy mill dogs). These bans also include real protection for kittens and rabbits, who suffer in the same type of factory farms as dogs. The Dog Patch Pet and Feed in Naperville long ago adopted the humane business model, which proves the model is not only viable but successful.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I agree that focusing on USDA defined commercial breeders is a good place to start. Part of the problem in the past has been over-reach, trying to go after breeders, breeders that are not USDA commercial breeders or distributors but sell to pet stores, simply because they sell puppies and kittens to pet stores.

      Until the supposition or conjecture that anyone providing pets to a pet store is a puppy mill can be supported by documentation or data proving this position (to date no one has provided any such information to the general public let alone Naperville City Council) referring to them as puppy mills only weakens the position of this cause.

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