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Group protests puppy mills near Batavia pet store

Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 10:56 p.m. CST
(Charles Menchaca – cmenchaca@shawmedia.com)
A group of people led by Samantha Clark of Batavia on Saturday protests puppy mills while standing at a bus stop south of the Randall Road and Mill Street intersection in Batavia.

BATAVIA – A group led by a former Batavia Petland employee Saturday held a peaceful protest to raise awareness about puppy mills.

The protest was held on public property near a bus stop south of the Randall Road and Mill Street intersection. It was the closest organizer Samantha Clark could get to the store, 401 N. Randall Road, without risking arrest.

“We’re not trying to shut them down – we’re trying to turn them humane,” Clark said.

Clark was joined by 13 other people who waved signs with phrases such as “Honk if you hate puppy mills” and “Don’t shop, adopt.” The group received lots of enthusiastic honking and thumbs-up signs. There were only a few hecklers throughout the two-hour protest.

Clark worked at the Batavia Petland from October 2009 to February 2010. She said some of the dogs the company sells come from puppy mills, which her group described as large-scale dog breeding operations with poor living conditions.

Batavia Petland co-owner Janet Star said she was able to observe some of the protest.

She was glad Clark’s group was bringing awareness to puppy mills, but she said those are not the kinds of places she gets her dogs from.

“We do get some [dogs] from large-scale breeders, but for me it’s about the quality of care,” Star said Saturday. “As long as I am comfortable with the quality of care, then that’s where I’ll get dogs from.”

Star said she personally drives all over the Midwest to see the dog breeding sites in person.

Selling puppies is a highly-regulated process, Star said.

That process could be even further regulated by Kane County. On the heels of new ordinances passed in Cook County and Chicago, the Kane County Public Health Committee is expected to discuss the issue at its next meeting.

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