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Puppy Mill Problem in Chicago?

December 11, 2012 by Tails Magazine in Chicago, Featured, Home, News with 1 Comment

(Image: HSUS investigators photographed row after row of cages at this Kansas puppy mill which sent shipments of dogs to Pocket Puppies in Chicago. – 2012/HSUS)

There are so many amazing things about Chicago, among them the fact that it is an increasingly pet-friendly place. So it was quite a shock to read the results of a recently completed investigation by the HSUS into Chicagoland pet businesses. According to data collected in October of this year: “Chicagoland is rife with puppy sellers. HSUS researchers found 67, including brick-and-mortar pet shops, pet groomers who sell puppies, on-line businesses and a home-and-garden store that sells puppies.”

That means that 67 Chicago businesses—12 of them pet stores—are participating in the puppy mill trade—and you may not even know it: “Again and again, salespeople denied that their puppies came from puppy mills, and most did not comply with a law passed in 2010 by the State requiring pet shops to post in a conspicuous place in writing on or near the cage of any dog or cat available for sale the information required by subsection (a) of this section. The information required includes the price, age, health and immunization history, and the name and address of the animal’s breeder.” (Emphasis HSUS.)

Here are the study’s general findings:

  • 8 out of 12 stores visited appeared to violate the State’s pet shop disclosure law; the other 4 stores had information in binders but did not “post [the information] in a conspicuous place on or near the cage of any dog or cat available for sale.”
  • More than 2,000 puppies were shipped to Chicago-area pet stores during an approximate 6-month period.
  • More than 1,000 of the puppies shipped to Chicago-area pet stores came from Iowa—most through huge puppy “brokers,” which are dealers that re-sell commercially-raised puppies and make it nearly impossible to know who the puppy’s breeder was.
  • 979 puppies were shipped to Chicago-area pet stores from Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Ohio
  • One of the pet stores visited is also breeding puppies, with about 50-60 breeding dogs kept in the back of the storefront in small, stacked wire cages. Puppy Parlor has been the subject of 19 complaints to the Illinois State Department of Agriculture over the past two years, and was quarantined for a week last year due to an outbreak of Parvovirus that killed at least 6 puppies.

The 12 pet stores found to be selling puppies [for complete information on the findings of a particular business, see the official HSUS report]:


Collar and Leash Boutique – 1345 N. Wells St.

Hug-A-Pup – 4950 W. Irving Park Rd.

Pet Luv Center – 8057 S. Cicero Ave.

Pocket Puppies – 2479 N. Clark

Puppies R Us – 3404 N. Ashland Ave.

Top Dog’s Puppy Store – 6919 W. Grand Ave.

Arlington Heights

Happiness is Pets – 15 W. Golf Rd.


Furry Babies – 2352 Fox Valley Center


Furry Babies – 152 Stratford Square Mall 

Downers Grove 

Happiness is Pets – 1542 Ogden


Alsip Home and Nursery – 20601 S. LaGrange Rd.


Puppy Parlor (aka Poochie Puppy Parlor) – 4707 Main St.


Here’s what you can do:

Share the information—the more people who know what these stores are involved in, the less that will shop there.

Sign the Puppy Mill Pledge and refuse to shop at stores that sell puppies. 

Learn what’s up and get the facts about puppy mills.


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