DuPage County to host puppy mill workshop
Residents who want their towns to ban the sale of pets from mass breeders could get some tips this weekend.
DuPage County Animal Services is working with the Humane Society of the United States to offer its first "puppy mill workshop" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the auditorium of DuPage's administration building, 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton.
Organizers said the event will cover topics such as passing local, state, and county laws; forming coalitions; conducting research; communicating with legislators; and representing the issue effectively in front of the media and general public.
Attendees will learn about puppy mills, kitten mills, pet store conditions, the mill-to-pet-store supply chain, humane pet store models, the impact of commercial breeding on rabbits, and the difference between preservationist breeders and pet stores. In addition, guests will hear from pet owners who learned the hard way about the damaging effects of commercial breeding through personal testimonials.
County board member Brian Krajewski, chairman of DuPage's animal services committee, said the goal is to show residents how to push for a humane ordinance in their communities.
"It will give them the tools and education on how to do it," the Downers Grove Republican said Monday.
Krajewski said it's possible state lawmakers eventually will take action. In the meantime, he said efforts must begin at the local level.
"If a number of communities start banning it, then the state eventually picks it up," he said.
Presenters scheduled to speak during the workshop include Marc Ayers, the Illinois state director for the Humane Society; Bailing Out Benji founder Mindi Callison; Greg Gordon, owner of Dog Patch Pet and Feed; and Cari Meyers, who founded an advocacy group called The Puppy Mill Project.
While the event is free, advanced registration is required. Visit hsuspuppymillworkshop.bpt.me to register.
More information can be found at dupageco.org/animalservices/legislation.