ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – In an effort to protect both pet owners and pets, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is pushing legislation that would prohibit pet shops from offering loans or installment contracts when attempting to sell pets.
“With a decision as big as adding a pet to a family, it is unacceptable to allow pet shops to take advantage of customers with expensive loan and installment contracts,” said Manley. “It is important that buyers understand how much they are paying and don’t get tricked into paying more than they think.”
Manley is cosponsoring House Bill 572, which would make it illegal for pet shops to offer loans or installment contracts. Currently, the use of loans and installment contracts can trick pet owners into paying significantly more than the advertised sticker price once interest is taken into account. Those who enter into these loan agreements also lose some rights over their pet, with pet shops having the ability to repossess pets whose owners have defaulted on their loans.
House Bill 572 has the support of a number of animal welfare organizations, including the Animal Welfare Institute, Humane Society of the United States, and Illinois Humane, due to the bill’s potential to combat puppy mills. Manley has been a staunch supporter of animal welfare since entering the General Assembly. During the previous session, Manley supported legislation that would put restrictions in place on where pet shops could only sell pets that were obtained from animal control centers, animal care facilities, and other specific organizations, or from certain breeders that are held to a high standard.
“Everyone, including our pets, deserves to be treated with respect and have protections in our law,” said Manley. “I will continue to work with local animal welfare groups to make sure that pets and pet owners are having their needs addressed.”