HB 1711 will close small businesses across the state and put hundreds of Illinois residents at risk for job loss 

Chicago, Ill. — Furry Babies, a majority female-owned and operated pet store, urges Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto HB 1711 because of the unintended consequences its passage would bring to the state of Illinois. HB 1711 fails to protect animal welfare, it disregards the welfare of workers and ultimately it will close small businesses around the state. 

 “HB 1711 sends the message to small business operators that Illinois doesn’t value your contributions as entrepreneurs, innovators and job creators,” said Ana Soskic, owner of Furry Babies pet stores. “We are fighting to save jobs and businesses and to protect animal welfare. We want to work with Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to craft legislation that actually protects dogs and protects our businesses, HB 1711 isn’t that legislation.” 

Hundreds of hardworking Illinoisans would lose their jobs and over a dozen of reputable pet stores would be forced to go out of business if HB 1711 is signed into law by Governor Pritzker.

“A veto of HB 1711 would allow us more time to pursue legislation that would advance animal welfare and actually make it more difficult for problematic and substandard breeders to operate in Illinois, without putting reputable small businesses at risk. So, let’s take emotion out of the equation, let’s look at the facts, and let’s understand that HB 1711, as written, is bad policy”, said Soskic. 

 HB 1711 jeopardizes animal welfare in a few key ways:

  • While pet stores would be shut down, rescue operations could continue to purchase from any breeder or from a dog auction thus perpetuating puppy mills.
  • It fails to raise any animal standards or protections.
  • It severely limits customer choice on where to get their pet next.
  • Creates a monopoly for rescues by imposing a “double standard.” It requires a state warranty for commercially bred dogs to now cover rescue dogs, but only those sold by pet stores, rescues would not be required to provide a similar warranty. Leaving the rescue/shelter market largely unregulated and making it more dangerous for animals.
  • It does not address the issue of substandard breeders across the state and penalizes responsible breeders.
  • This bill will drive consumers to shop online for their next pet, where they won’t be able to verify the quality or standards of care for the animals. Putting consumers at risk to fall prey to internet scams.

The following diverse animal welfare organizations are currently opposed to HB 1711: the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Happiness is Pets, Furry Babies, Citizens for Responsible Pet Ownership, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and Protect the Harvest.

To learn more, visit Protect Our Pets Illinois, and follow POPIL at @protectpetsil on Twitter and on their Facebook page.