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Will County Board member calling for public's support of pet safety legislation

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Suzanne Hart, R-Naperville

JOLIET – Will County Board Member Suzanne Hart, R-Naperville, is urging residents to voice their support for legislation on animal safety that is making its way through the state’s General Assembly in Springfield, according to a news release.

Senate Bill 2280, called the Animal Welfare-Pet Shops bill, would put restrictions on the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits by pet shop operators in Will and DuPage counties. It is awaiting committee assignment.

“Now is the time for citizens to step up and tell their lawmakers to vote for these bills,” said Hart, who also chairs the Legislative and Policy Committee. “I’m asking residents to make their voices heard so we can eradicate puppy mills and animal cruelty here for good. We need to provide a voice for these animals because they can’t speak for themselves.”

SB2280 would require stores to only sell dogs and cats from a nonprofit organization. Consumers would still have the option to buy puppies from breeders. The hope is that the legislation would curb the operation of “unscrupulous breeders” who often house animals in poor conditions.

It also would require animals to be at least 8 weeks old before being put up for sale and for stores to keep specific records for each animal.

The second one is House Bill 4191, called the Immunity – Dog & Cat – Locked Car bill. This bill would allow individuals to rescue animals from motor vehicles without civil and criminal liability. It is sponsored by state Rep. David Olsen, R-Downers Grove, and is awaiting committee assignment, according to the release.

Both bills were part of the legislative agenda set by the Will County Board and sent to Springfield in December.

“For many people, pets almost become members of the family,” said Democratic Minority Leader Herb Brooks Jr., D-Joliet. “I’m sure residents of Will County will put their full support behind these bills in order to keep these animals safe.”