A bill scheduled for consideration on Wednesday, February 22, would allow for a person to face forfeiture of their animals for virtually any violation of state law regarding the care of animals, even without a conviction.
Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to take the actions listed below prior to Wednesday’s hearing to express your concerns with Senate Bill 1499. Scroll down for more information.
Current law allows a court to consider ordering a person to forfeit animals to a shelter or animal control if there is a conviction under the state’s cruelty laws. In addition, the person convicted, as well as anyone residing in their household, may be prohibited from owning or possessing animals in the future. SB 1499 Among other significant changes, this bill would amend current law to instead allow for these orders on a violation. This includes offenses such as failing to provide proper food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.
The AKC strongly believes that all dog owners must properly care for their animals, and that all animals deserve lives in a safe, humane, and healthy environment. AKC is concerned about the one-size-fits- all nature of this punishment that could include minor infractions that can be corrected and do not rise to the level of a serious offense. In addition, this change from convictions to violations is a significant shift that could result in dog owners permanently losing their animals for offenses even if they are not convicted of a crime.
What You Can Do:
Submit an online Witness Slip to let the special committee know you oppose the bill. Visit the hearing page and select the “Create Witness Slip” icon next to Senate Bill 1499.
Contact the Members of the Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety and let them know you oppose Senate Bill 1499. View the committee webpage for names and contact information.
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor all legislation impacting dog owners in Illinois. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.