The monkeypox outbreak has subsided since the state banned prairie dogs and the rats that caused the virus, but one local business is still feeling the bite from monkeypox. A local pet shop put under quarantine by the Illinois Department of Agriculture
When a prairie dog ban went into effect in early June, pet stop owner Debra Marshall swiftly remove three prairie dogs from her store. But now more than a month later, the state put pet stop under quarantine.
"We had no sick animals. We had nothing related to the monkeypox and just two small businesses were hit by this," says Marshall.
All of pet stop's mammals are being held in this backroom until July 20 but when the owner of the store can bring the pets back up front for sale; she worries how customers will react.
"When they come in and ask about the animals, I tell them about the quarantine and that we had no sick animals. But I know it's hard for them to totally believe that. But many customers have been supportive and rallied around us," Marshall adds.
Now Marshall can only sell reptiles and fish. She calls the quarantine a bogus band-aid that doesn't address the really problem.
"What about the animals I sold the day the prairie dogs were here or the week before they were here or all of the people that came in and pet the prairie dogs when they were here? They don't care about that," says Marshall.
So for now, cages sit empty and customers wait for July 20 when the quarantine will be lifted. At least Marshall hopes they wait and return to pet stop
Locally, another pet store in Belvidere, Lori's Little Critters, was quarantined in the same way pet stop was. The owner of that store declined comment on the quarantine