The city of Naperville will be holding elections on April 7, 2015 to elect a new mayor and members to the city council. A group called Make Naperville Puppy Mill Outlet Free has been contacting candidates to find out whether they would support an ordnance that would ban the sale of puppy mill dogs similar to the one recently passed in the city of Chicago.
Here is a list of their findings (note: this will be updated as new information becomes available).
City Council Candidates
Those in favor of a humane ordinance:
- Thomas O'Hale
- Robert Hajek
- Bill Eagan
- Steve Purduski
- Becky Anderson
- John Krummen
- Paul Hinterlong (provided it is worded to avoid a lawsuit)
- Steve Peterson (Provided it is worded to avoid a lawsuit)
- Kevin Coyne (Provided it is worded to avoid a lawsuit)
- Kevin Gallaher
- John Colletti (favors a state ban, willing to use Naperville influence in Springfield)
- Rebecca Obarski (would consider one like Orland Park, as long as it was "respecting the business owners' right to trade")
- Wayne Floegal (would support if Cook County/Chicago ordinances hold up and city would incur no additional costs)
- Dave Wentz (wants the Pet stores to clean their cages more often and agree to city inspections)
- Patty Gustin (does not like the risk of law suits)
- Nancy Marinello ("Education to the public regarding what to look for when buying a puppy would, I believe, be the best approach and I strongly urge you to put your efforts there instead of stepping on the rights of your fellow citizens.")
Those not responding:
- Jimmy Bergeron (has suspended his campaign)
- Judith Brodhead
- Dick Furstenau
- Joe McElroy
The following responses are from the Mayoral Forum on March 16 at 7 pm at the Naperville Municipal Center.
See below for a link to the video.
Marty Walker “I actually love animals. And when I study this thing about animals being raised in puppy mills for the sale in stores, in some cases these animals are abused. They’re being violated. They’re not being well taken care of. We’re finding that cats and dogs are not being properly vaccinated. I’m 100% opposed to puppy mill sales. However, there are communities such as Cook county right now that are going through law suits. These law suits are costing a lot of money and being the fact that we’re in a deficit at this point, I don’t think it would be in our best interests to adopt our own particular ordnance against puppy mills. And I would be in favor of the state legislature to put together language we could adopt.”
James Hasselhorst “Well this is a very complicated issue to answer in 45 seconds. I got several emails about this and did post my more concise response to this question on my web page. The reality is that there are, one of the hardest things to do is to find concisely and legally what a puppy mill is. None of us like puppy mills. I’ve seen these efforts to get rid of puppy mills ever since I was a teenager in high school and we can see how long it’s been and they still exist. In some ways they’ve actually, the numbers have actually grown. It’s because there’s a demand here. And you can attack a supply side all you want but as anybody knows from economics, so long as there’s a demand, you are never going to get rid of the supply. The reality is pet shops only sell 15% of puppy mill puppies. That is not a significant dent in the puppy mill market to put these companies out of business.” [Editor's note: This statistic is untrue. Approximately 90-99% of dogs sold at pet stores are from puppy mills. Reputable breeders don't sell their dogs to pet stores.]
Note Jim Hasselhorst has also previously stated "For the Naperville City Council to enact such a law in the present legal environment would simply be negligent."
Doug Krause “Well, there’s over 40 cities who have passed this ordnance on this and most of them right now are in court spending tax payer’s money. With our budget situation, it is a better to take a wait and see what comes out of these court cases. But if it is going to be handled correctly, it should either be handled by the state like they did with smoke free instead of having a patch work done to make sure it’s consistently applied across all municipalities or department of agriculture with the federal government. But there has to be some uniformity so that the rules are all the same for everyone.”
Steve Chirico “I generally agree with Doug on this. In addition to that I have trouble by painting with a broad brush the idea that all puppy mills are evil or treating their animals inhumanely. I can’t accept that. And a puppy mill is really defined as a commercial breeder who has five females or more. From my perspective, any breeder who treats an animal inhumanely should be held accountable. That’s wrong. We all know it’s wrong. And it shouldn’t be allowed. But I don’t think that by applying a hard and fixed rule that says, ‘If you have five female dogs or less it means that you are treating your animals humanely. I don’t think that, I just can’t buy into that. So we need to have a better solution. But in the meantime I think this is going to have to be a court battle at the state level and probably at the federal level.”
Download a PDF of this list.
For more information on the problem of puppy mills and what you can do see the following:
- Buyer Beware: The Problem with Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders
- ASPCA Puppy Mill FAQ
- National Puppy Mill Project Facts
- The Puppy Mill Project
- PupQuest: Learn to be Puppy Source Savvy
- Animal Sheltering: New Route to Adoption
- Best Friends Animal Society: Puppy Mill Initiatives
- USDA Animal Care Program Inspections of Problematic Dealers (PDF)
- Puppy Sales Investigation by The Humane Society of the United States (PDF)
- Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) Veterinary Report on Puppy Mills (PDF)
For more information on the candidates see the following: