The Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill TOMORROW (Wednesday, March 16) that would streamline the current process whereby individuals may permanently lose their dogs on suspicion of cruelty – even before a trial begins.
Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and sponsor before the hearing at 3:30 pm tomorrow to express concerns with Senate Bill 2847. Scroll down for information on how to contact the committee.
Current law states that if someone fails to pay a security for the care of the animals during an ongoing trial, they forfeit the animals. Any unused money is returned to the owner upon acquittal, but there does not appear to be any opportunity for the owner to get their animals back if they happen to miss or are late on a payment- even if they are acquitted.
SB 2847 makes this law even more problematic by requiring the State’s Attorney ask for permanent forfeiture (current law leaves that up to the attorney’s discretion) during the pre-trial forfeiture hearing. If the attorney is successful, then the owner would permanently lose their animals even before the trial actually begins.
The AKC strongly believes that all who own or care for animals have an obligation to treat them in a humane and responsible manner, and those who have been convicted of mistreatment of animals must be held accountable. However, current law and SB 2847 provide no options for a person if they are falsely accused or found not guilty, or if the violation happens while the animals are temporarily in someone else’s care. They would still lose their animals if the attorney is successful in the forfeiture hearing before the trial, or if they miss a payment during the trial.
What You Can Do:
Call the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee and respectfully express your opposition to SB 2847. View the committee web page and click on the names for the committee phone numbers.
Submit a “witness slip” to be sent to the committee prior to the hearing to express your concerns. To submit a witness slip, do the following:
- Visit http://my.ilga.gov
- Click on “register” to create an account, then check your e-mail for the verification and click on the link in the e-mail to log in
- Type in your name and contact information. If you don’t have a fax number, just put 1s or 5s in the blanks. Type “self” for both the firm and representation, or you can put the name of your club if you are officially representing the club. Put “none” for the title unless you are a club officer.
- Select “Senate” from the left side of the screen, then click the gavel icon next to the Judiciary Committee from the list on the right.
- Click “view legislation”, the scroll down to SB 2847 and click the pen and paper icon to create a witness slip
- Select that you are an opponent of the original bill, and check “record of appearance only” if you wish to just file your position without speaking on the bill. Click “Create (slip)” when done.
AKC will continue to closely monitor this bill. For questions or more information on this bill, or questions on registering your comments, contact the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill TOMORROW (Wednesday, March 16) that would streamline the current process whereby individuals may permanently lose their dogs on suspicion of cruelty even before a trial begins.
Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and sponsor before the hearing at 3:30 pm tomorrow (3/16) to express concerns with Senate Bill 2847. Scroll down for information on how to contact the committee.