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Local Government

Kane County to discuss puppy mill restrictions

GENEVA – Kane County soon might join other nearby communities in placing restrictions on puppy mills.

The Public Health Committee expressed interest in the topic Tuesday after Kane County Animal Control Administrator Robert Sauceda delivered his monthly report.

“I sense a lot of interest in this,” said Kane County Board member Monica Silva, who chairs the committee.

Cook County last week passed an ordinance that prohibits the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. Chicago also has approved a similar ban.

The committee is expected to discuss the issue at its next meeting. Barb Jeffers, the county health department’s executive director, said the county should work with the State’s Attorney’s Office as it develops its own ordinance.

In other news, Sauceda received unanimous support to change the name of Kane County Animal Control to Kane County Animal Care and Control.

Jeffers also provided the committee with a more detailed look at the County Health Rankings, which were released in March by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Kane County ranked ninth out of 102 counties – which was up from 12th place last year – but Jeffers said it is difficult to compare the 2014 and 2013 results because the factors on which the rankings are based change.

“Health is not going to the doctor,” Jeffers said. “It’s more than that.”

This year, Kane County scored well on such new criteria as residents’ access to nutritious food (Kane scored 8.7 out of 10), the percent of residents with access to exercise opportunities (89 percent), and drinking water violations (zero), Jeffers said.

Other new criteria showed that Kane County’s ratio of population to mental health providers is higher than the state’s, and 81 percent of its workforce drives alone to work, she said.

Going forward, Jeffers encouraged the committee to consider how each project, policy or plan will affect residents’ health and to maximize health-promoting factors of each project, policy or plan.

“It’s hard to live a healthy life if you live in an unhealthy place,” she said.

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