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AKC’s Illinois Federation Helps Pass Law to Benefit Lost Dogs

CAR Photo
Photo: AKC Reunite ©

Thousands of Illinois pet owners will now have a better chance of being reunited with their beloved pets thanks to House Bill 4029, which was signed into law recently by Governor Bruce Rauner. The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), AKC’s official Illinois state federation, worked with key sponsor Senator Thomas Cullerton to initiate the legislation, which requires animal shelters and rescue groups to scan intake animals for a microchip multiple times before releasing the animal. This extends the provisions of SB1632, which required the same procedure of animal control facilities.  The American Kennel Club was proud to support both of these measures, which help reunite lost pets with their owners.

“The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners is committed to responsible dog ownership, and this new law is a win-win for all dog owners in the State of Illinois,” said Michele Kasten, Vice President of IFDCO. “It will help get lost animals home more quickly by ensuring that shelters and rescues who take in stray animals follow the same requirements as animal control facilities — scanning the animal for a microchip multiple times so it can be identified and returned to its rightful owners. Prior to this law there were no requirements for shelters or rescues to scan for a microchip and contact the owner.”

House Bill 4029 defines shelters 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 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 congratulates IFDCO on their significant efforts in bringing this important law that will help reunite lost pets with their owners as soon as possible. 

For more information on the new law, contact Michele Kasten at