New Illinois Health Disclosure Law for Pet Stores and Shelters

Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 5772 in August of 2010 and it became a law as of January 1st 2011. This new law is geared toward making sure that pet stores and shelters offer customers a full disclosure on a cat or dog, before the pet is purchased or adopted. Before this law went into effect, the pet stores were only required to disclose health and breeding information if they were asked. Now it must be posted for the customer to read.
What the New Pet Law Requires

The bill was sponsored by Representative Susan Mendoza, a Chicago Democrat and Evanston Democrat, Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg. Their reasoning for this new pet store law was that too many people were purchasing puppies that were in ill health, and that possibly came from a puppy mill. Mendoza and Schoenberg believe that Illinois pet buyers have a right to make an informed decision when purchasing from a pet store.

The new pet store law requires that each pet have a full disclosure card on its cage or very close to where the pet is housed. This disclosure card must state such things as:

*Full price, including adoption fees or any other applicable fees
*Microchip number
*Information on the breed, sex and age of the dog
*The breeders name and address
*Information on the pedigree of the pet, including registration numbers
*Any dates or reasons the pet was returned
*Any and all medical history before or during the time the store or shelter had the pet
*Any additional remarks as warranted

You can view copies of the full disclosure sheets for pet stores and animal shelters by clicking on the appropriate name. These disclosure sheets must be signed by either a member of the pet store staff, or the animal shelter staff, depending on where you adopt the pet from.

The customer or adopter must also sign that they have read the disclosure sheet and are entitled to receive a copy of the sheet when they purchase or adopt the pet. This will hopefully insure that all pet owners get to make an informed decision about the pet the wish to adopt or purchase.

Animal Shelters May be Exempt from Full Disclosures

Animal shelters do have to have a disclosure sheet attached to each pet’s cage or kennel, but they are exempt from offering information they may not have. Since some animals are picked up as strays, the shelter would only have to disclose what they know, as far as any medical assessments they have done since they had the dog or cat.
All vaccinations and tests from the time the shelter acquired the dog or cat to date of its adoption must be disclosed, just like the pet stores. Someone from the shelter must sign the disclosure along with the adopting party. It plainly states that the shelter staff is attesting that all information is true to the best of their knowledge.

Will the New Pet Disclosure Law Stop Puppy Mills?

Animal rights organizations say probably not, but agree that it is a step in the right direction. Customers who purchase from a pet store should not make a hasty decision and should check the breeder information to make sure they are reputable. Most laws are only observed by law abiding people. Look into the history of a breeder before you purchase a dog or cat that came from them.

Animal disclosures from a shelter may only show partial information, but if there is a history of decent medical care listed on the sheet and positive remarks about the dog or cat’s behavior and disposition, it will help you to make an informed decision when you decide to adopt a shelter animal.

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