Monday, October 15, 2012

Making History In Illinois:Villa Park Goes Humane

History was made this Fall in Illinois.  Villa Park became the first town in the state to pass an ordinance banning most sales of dogs and cats within its borders. Villa Park may be the first, but there are many towns now considering a ban as well. Pet shops will undoubtedly find it more difficult to open new stores, expand to new towns, perhaps even to remain in the buildings they already occupy. For the sake of puppy mill dogs (and all pets for that matter) - the time has come.
On September 24th, Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) members, along with concerned community residents, presented their case to the Villa Park board, requesting that pet sales no longer be allowed in the town.

Members of College of DuPage Students for Animal Defense
Ida McCarthy, Chicago Coordinator for CAPS, has personally witnessed puppies in horrific conditions being sold at a flea market in this town. It became her mission to see to it that this "breeder" was discouraged from selling there. Ida, along with fellow CAPS members, regularly hold educational demonstrations in front of Happiness Is Pets pet stores in the area. CAPS has documented that the puppies sold there are obtained from puppy mills.

The Villa Park ordinance sets forth specific requirements that all stores and kennels be licensed, adds particular health and care regulations, and forbids the sale of pets at flea markets, farmers markets, and parking lots.. Technical legalities prohibited the board from banning sales by long-established businesses. However, those pet stores now cannot move to new locations within Villa Park, and new stores cannot open for business to sell dogs and cats.

This is monumental. CAPS members have held demonstrations now for years in front of pet stores like Happiness is Pets and Petland, educating the public about the source of the puppies for sale, the wretched conditions they are bred and born in, the sad lot of their parents, and the more humane and sensible choice to purchase instead from a reputable breeder or adopt from a shelter or rescue. Many people are still unaware of the connection between pet shops and puppy mills.

What you can do
There are many ways you can get involved - you can participate in demonstrations in your area, petition your town board to consider banning pet sales and attend the meetings to present why this would be a good idea, or even simply spread the word to those you know about pet shops, puppy mills, and smart choices in acquiring a new pet.



Kudos
A tremendous shout-out goes to the Villa Park board members, for having the progressive mindset to consider a change which no other town in our state has yet to do, and for their commitment to the welfare of companion animals as well as the protection of the consumer. We salute Villa Park, and encourage everyone to patronize the businesses in this town with a heart.

Jenna H., Pres. CODSFAD
Special recognition must also be given to the College of DuPage Students for Animal Defense, who not only attended the meeting but also store demonstrations month after month, regardless of the weather they have endured.

Dianne Arp, CAPS 
CAPS members Dianne Arp and Kristen Kaminski toil unselfishly on behalf of the animals around the clock, in addition to heading up the demonstrations and educating the public. Together with Ida McCarthy, they petitioned, then led the presentation at the Villa Park board meeting for this ordinance.

The awful monster we've known as the puppy mill industry and the pet stores that sell for them has often seemed an insurmountable problem. Villa Park and its board have shown that there is hope, the challenge is achievable, and a brighter day is ahead for companion animals. Joining open-minded communities from around the world that have done the same, Villa Park has now taken a stand against unscrupulous breeders and anyone who attempts to cash in on the backs of dogs and cats.

And this accomplishment shows us that spending an hour or two once or twice a month, to protest, inform, share with others, attend a meeting - can indeed be time well-spent.

Today - Villa Park, Illinois. Tomorrow - the world!

We've joined Be the Change for Animal's Blog the Change, the quarterly event to "Be, Blog, Read, and Share the Change for Animals". Click below to see much more -


22 comments:

  1. This is great news. Thanks for letting us know.
    Love Noodles

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  2. BRAVO! Sometimes first steps are the biggest!

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    1. Very good point, Brian! We'll see how things go from here, but hopefully this has set the ball in motion for change.

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  3. Wow, Kim, this is spectacular!! I know how long and hard you've worked as a dedicated and passionate animal advocate alongside may others who champion the same cause.

    Not one of you could have done this alone but, together, you've moved a mountain! It's proof positive that one good deed from every single person counts toward the collective benefit. We don't have to save the world by ourselves, but we can make our corner better with the help of our caring neighbors.

    Congratulations and thanks so much for Blogging the Change!

    Kim Clune
    Director: http://BetheChangeforAnimals.com
    Blogger: http://thisonewildlife.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim - but honestly, I'm nothing but a speck in this. Writing about the subject, spreading awareness...that's where I fit in. But the people who dedicate their Saturday afternoons to demonstrations, who work endlessly to educate and encourage adoptions, petition towns and attend these board meetings - these are the real heroes in this. And the town board members, too - what they've done is truly impressive!

      I love your idea about all of us working together, it really does make a difference!

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  4. Thank you for this awesome shout out Kim! You are a great writer! One town at a time let's hope! Thank you again,

    Ida McCarthy

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    1. Ida, you are a true hero to our animal friends! There is no one I know who fights harder on their behalf than you, Dianne and Kristen - heck, the whole CAPS team! One town at a time is great, because it will indeed happen. The dream is in sight!

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    2. Awww....thank you sweet lady :)

      Ida

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  5. Our paws and hands are raised in a salute to you for your hard won efforts.

    WE hope to follow in your footsteps in our area too.l

    One city at a time.
    Bert and My Vickie

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    1. Oh, Bert and Vickie - that is so awesome to hear! Good luck, let us know how things go in your area. It CAN happen!

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    2. What town are you in Bert? And what pet stores are there? Maybe CAPS can help.

      Ida McCarthy

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  6. Maybe the pet stores should get with the shelters and put shelter dogs and cats in their stores instead of puppy mill puppies.

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    1. That is the BEST solution, and one which stores who have done it say is profitable as well as humane and positive. Some of these pet stores, though, are just very stubborn in their ways. It's a shame.

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    2. Dog Patch on Ogden in Naperville went humane last year. They now only have shelter dogs/puppies and cats/kittens. They are still a business that has the best assortment of pet food and products and very knowledgable staff. The animals are Vetted, Neutered, Microchipped, and groomed. They are housed, walked and fed by paid staff and the adoption fees are still much less than what a pet store charges. Stop in and check them out!
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dog-Patch-Pet-and-Feed/286929623641?fref=ts

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  7. Wow. Kudos to CAPS and to the board. It takes courage to turn away businesses that may bring in money, but I am guessing that the benefits to consumers, the dogs and the town will be plenty.

    CAPS rocks in my book. They brought down Kathy Bauck in my state. She had one of the largest puppy mills in the country and in MN. I am glad they are continuing their work.

    Thanks for writing about puppy mills Kim. The more we can do to educate people the better off the pets and consumers will be. So nice to see change is coming.

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  8. Wow, that is such good news. Hope that news spreads far and wide. This is so great for all the doggies in the puppy mills. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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  9. Dear Kim, this is truly great news. As a wise Chinese philosopher once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." And I would say that this particular journey--to rid our world of puppy mills--is well on its way. I am so grateful to those students and other concerned citizens for all they have done to begin this journey. Peace.

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  10. Hooray Villa Park! And what a committed group of activists to keep the word before the public. Very inspirational story for Blog the Change day.

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  11. Such amazing news, and so inspiring! Woohoo!

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  12. This is great news and I hope this idea spreads like wildfire;-D First one is always the toughest! Wonderful...thanks for making this a Blog the Change post!

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  13. Wow, this is indeed landmark news! Congratulations to all on your hard work. This proves that real change is possible. Hopefully this will help encourage other communities to keep at it. Things can only get better from here.

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