I support the "Don't Shop. Adopt." mentality and the proposed "Lemon Law" that the Illinois Senate passed is just one more reason to support your local shelter rather than the pet shop.

These are 2 of the puppies rescued by the Warrick Humane Society from a puppy mill. Photo: Facebook/WarrickHumaneSoc

The Illinois Senate has passed what is being called a "Puppy Lemon Law." The basic premise of the law is that it would protect consumers who purchase dogs and cats that are very sick. The consumer would be able to get a full refund or replacement if the animal dies within 21 days. This bill is now going to the Illinois House, but is enacted in nearly 20 states already.

Before I get started, let me clarify that there are pet stores who work closely with animal shelters and rescues across the country to help adopt homeless pets. Petsmart and Pet Food Center are two that we have here in the Evansville area. There are also pet shops that sell what people in the rescue world call "mill" animals. Mill, meaning farmed, as in these animals - generally dogs - are kept and bred in horrendous conditions, kept in filthy cages, with little to no human interaction, and used for nothing more than their ability to reproduce. The offspring, often sick, genetically unhealthy, and even inbred, are then sold off to pet stores and sold again to the unsuspecting public as "designer" or "purebred."

Now, it is my honest opinion, that if you want to protect people from ending up with sick and dying pets, that it would make far more sense to put a stop to the puppy mills in the first place. I believe that this bill reinforces the notion that these animals are disposable. That their little lives do not matter. If they get a good home, and they die in 3 weeks, they'll be replaced just like a broken child's toy. Animals are not disposable! They deserve to have their lives treated with respect and dignity. I think that the state of Illinois is way off base with this so-called "Puppy Lemon Law."

What do you think? Leave a comment with your opinion.



A few local places to look for your next adoption:

All of these locations have adoptable dogs and cats. Some even have small animals for adoption as well.