Ordinance would ban private sale of pets

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Evanston’s Human Services Committee Monday is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only permit the sale or adoption of cats, dogs and rabbits by animal shelters and federally licensed breeders.

All of the animals acquired through shelters would be required to be spayed or neutered before adoption.

Shelters and breeders would have to maintain a variety of records, and breeders would be limited to owning, possessing or housing no more than five female cats, dogs or rabbits capable or reproduction in any 12-month period.

In a memo to the committee, Assistant City Attorney Hugh DuBose says an increasing population of unwanted cats, dogs and rabbits “creates both an economic burden on the city and a humane burden on the animals.”

The city-owned shelter doesn’t currently care for rabbits, and DuBose says the local animal rescue that does care for rabbits “has expressed concern about the number of rabbits requiring rescue in Evanston.”

The ordinance would appear to make it illegal for a resident who had to give up a pet because of a move or health issues to give the animal to a friend or relative.

Fines for violation of the ordinance would range from $500 to $1,500.

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