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Aldermen, pass Chicago’s puppy mill ordinance now

Every day this humane legislation is not passed is another day someone will spend an insane amount of money on a companion animal, only to discover they have been swindled.

Chihuahuas rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Peotone. 
Chihuahuas rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Peotone.
Sun-Times file photo

The Chicago Alliance for Animals recently was contacted by a woman named Carla, who unknowingly bought a sick puppy in August from a local shop.

She said she “spent an unbelievable amount of money on a dog who has a genetic disorder.” She sent emails detailing the veterinarian’s diagnosis and the shop manager’s very rude and uncompassionate response. She also sent an email in which she said the manager thinks the store will cover the estimated veterinary costs of between $6,000 and $8,000. The owner then informed her “medical bills are not covered.”

Ald. Brian Hopkins has proposed an ordinance to close pet stores that are still selling dogs for thousands of dollars yet clearly not getting them from authentic animal shelters or rescue groups, which was the intent of legislation passed in 2014.

Every day that this humane legislation is not passed is another day someone else will spend an insane amount of money on a companion animal only to discover that they have been swindled through dishonesty motivated by money.

SEND LETTERS TO: Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

This common sense ordinance is supported by the majority of aldermen and a huge coalition of animal shelters, rescue groups and animal protection organizations. This is a no-brainer. The Alliance urges that the proposed ordinance be voted on and passed at the Sept. 9 City Council meeting.

The silver lining of this preventable situation is that Carla loves Honey Coco, is keeping her and will get her the veterinary treatment she needs.

Jodie Wiederkehr, Chicago Alliance for Animals

Save the travel industry

Because I’m a furloughed employee, this is close to my heart and livelihood.

Every business in the country has been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. But few sectors have been as hard hit, or faced a longer road to recovery, than the travel agency industry.

According to the American Society of Travel Advisors, 64% of travel agencies in the U.S. have laid off at least half of their staff, even with the federal relief provided by the CARES Act in March. What’s more, over 70% will go out of business within the next six months without additional federal relief.

Without that relief, the travel agency sector is looking at an extinction-level event. This would deprive the traveling public of the critical services travel advisors provide and cripple the travel suppliers’ (airlines, hotels, cruise lines, etc.) main distribution channel.

So what was the response in Congress to this devastation in our industry and many others? After negotiations over the next relief bill deadlocked, they adjourned for their annual “August recess” and are not scheduled to return until mid-September.

My message to our elected officials, on behalf of the 140,000 people who work in our industry, is simple: Get back to work and support the small businesses who desperately need your help. Doing nothing is not an option. The future of our business depends on it!

Judith Kitzes, Evanston