Commissioners Liz Gorman and Joan Murphy held press conference today to discuss their proposed amendment to Cook County’s ‘Puppy Mills’ Ordinance

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Commissioners Liz Gorman and Joan Murphy held press conference today to discuss their proposed amendment to Cook County’s ‘Puppy Mills’ Ordinance

LizGormanChicago, IL – Cook County Commissioners Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman and Joan Patricia Murphy along with leaders from the veterinary community held a press conference this morning at the George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building in downtown Chicago to discuss the recently proposed amendment to the Cook County Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance (aka ‘Puppy Mills’ Ordinance).

  Joining the commissioners at the press conference was: Dr. Richard Rossman, President, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association; Dr. Anthony Coronado, President-Elect Chicago Veterinary Medical Association; Adrian Hochstadt, Director of State Legislation, American Veterinary Medical Association; and Sharon Gronskog, Director of Media Relations, American Veterinary Medical Association; and Eric Voogd, Director, Education and Media Relations, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.   The amendment, sponsored by Gorman and Murphy, was submitted at the May 21, 2014 county board meeting. Commissioners Gorman and Murphy believe their amendment addresses bad breeders as well as strengthens the health and well-being of our pets without our local pet stores being put out of business and jeopardizing the jobs of our constituents through regulatory overreach.   Allowing for the committee process would also allow the county board to closely examine the real economic impact of the ordinance, which was not originally done. “The future of Happiness is Pets a local pet store and long-time business in Orland Park will most certainly have to close its doors and put people out of work.  This will be the end result of the current ordinance if not amended,” said Commissioner Gorman.   Both commissioners highlighted the importance of local pet stores to our economy here in Cook County and the need to be fair and equitable in the county’s approach to regulating the pet industry.  Gorman believes using a heavy hand against pet stores is not going to solve the problem of bad breeders and puppy mills.  That’s why the commissioners reached out to other experts in the pet and animal field for their input.

"Jake and Abbie" - Elaine in Pelham, NH

“Jake and Abbie” - Elaine in Pelham, NH (Photo credit: humanesocietyoftheunitedstates)

“We were pleased to have met with the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association.  There is no other body that protects the health and well-being of our pets more than our veterinarians. We asked them to review the original ordinance and then provide us with their expert opinion and any recommendations they might have to improve and strengthen it,” said Commissioner Gorman.   After its submittal at the May 21 county board meeting, the proposed amendment was immediately moved to the Legislation Committee where all of the interested parties will debate the merits of the new amendment language in the proper arena which is scheduled to be heard on June 17, 2014. The sponsoring commissioners are looking forward to the open and transparent committee process especially since the board was denied this opportunity when the original ordinance was presented, thus eliminating any opportunity for constructive debate and appropriate scrutiny.   Commissioner Gorman feels having broad input from those groups can help strengthen the ordinance to properly address the bad breeders, protect the health and welfare of our pets, but not at the expense of local businesses and the jobs those businesses provide for constituents.   Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Republican from Orland Park, represents Cook County’s suburban 17th District. She has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, and budget and operational efficiencies. Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation.   ###


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