Ask Illinois Senate to Support Bill to Help Lost Pets

A bill is advancing in the Illinois Senate that would create new requirements for shelters that will help streamline the process to get lost animals home more quickly. Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact their State Senator and ask them to support House Bill 4029.

Ask Illinois Senate to Support Bill to Help Lost Pets

May 22, 2015

A bill is advancing in the Illinois Senate that would create new requirements for shelters that will help streamline the process to get lost animals home more quickly. 

House Bill 4029 could be considered by the Senate as early as Tuesday, May 26,  Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact their State Senator and ask them to support House Bill 4029.  Use the Illinois Board of Elections website or the “Find Your Elected Officials” box in the new AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center to find the name and contact information for your state senator.

Summary:

Current law requires animal control facilities to comply with certain requirements when taking in a stray or lost dog.  This includes multiple checks for a microchip or other identification to determine ownership.

House Bill 4029, as currently written with Amendment No. 4, would expand current law to include shelters, which are defined as facilities operated by a humane society, animal welfare society, or other non-profit organization “promoting the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals”,  as well as veterinary hospitals and clinics if they also provide these services. 

Among other requirements, shelters would have to check for identification within 24 hours after the initial intake of a dog or cat.  An additional scan for a microchip and other forms of identification would also be required prior to transferring an animal to another shelter or rescue group, or euthanization. 

HB 4029 as amended also states that if the first person listed on the microchip cannot be reached, the shelter must notify the second contact if one is listed.  Also, shelters must notify the owner when they are identified and transfer dogs with identified owners to a local animal control or law enforcement agency for redemption.  If they cannot transfer the animal, they must hold the animal for at least 7 days prior to removing the animal. 

The AKC thanks the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), who have worked diligently with the legislature and local animal control directors to develop this bill that will help close loopholes in state law and reunite lost pets with their owners.

For questions or more information about this bill, contact Michele Kasten with IFDCO at schipnut58@yahoo.com or AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.