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Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday signed a bill into law that will require pet stores, animal shelters and control facilities to disclose important information, including health history and name of breeder, before selling dogs or cats.

“This new law will make sure consumers have all the necessary information before buying a pet,” Quinn said. “Pet owners have a right to know where an animal was bred and if there are any past medical issues to help them make an informed decision.”

House Bill 5772 requires pet stores, animal shelters and control facilities to disclose certain consumer information on or near the animal’s cage, according to a release from the governor’s office. Consumers must also receive a copy of the information prior to purchase.

Pet shops, animal shelters and controls will be required to disclose the following information prior to sale: retail price, including adoption fees or other charges; breed, age, date of birth, sex and color of the dog or cat; details of vaccinations and health history; name, address and identification number of the breeder; and any known diseases or other health conditions (applies to animal shelters and controls only).

Currently, pet stores are required to disclose this information when it is requested by the consumer. However, the law does not specify when the information must be disclosed. As a result, many pet stores do not disclose information until after the sale is final.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, D-9th, of Evanston, and Rep. Susana Mendoza, D-1st of Chicago, and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.

“There are too many stories of Illinois consumers buying a puppy from a pet store only to find out that the dog came from a puppy mill and it has substantial physical and emotional issues. This bill is about giving consumers information about a pet before they buy a dog or cat,” Mendoza said. “Consumers … will no longer have to guess about where the puppy in the window came from, or what medical issues the puppy has.”

— STM