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On Tuesday, March 23, the Illinois House Cities and Villages Committee is considering a bill that would protect working animals – including animals used in competition and exhibition.

Those who reside or participate in dog events in Illinois are encouraged to contact the committee and the bill sponsor to express your support.  Scroll down for contact information.


House Bill 3728 recognizes the value of working animals and animal events and that when treated humanely, activities can benefit both the animals and humans.

A “working animal” is defined as any animal “a specific duty or function in commerce or animal enterprise, including, but not limited to, human service, transportation, education, competition, or exhibition.”

As written, this bill would prohibit local governments from enacting any law or regulation that “terminates, bans, effectively bans, or creates an undue financial hardship” on the use of working animals and on animal enterprises.  AKC supports this bill, which recognizes and protects the broad variety of essential and important work and services dogs can provide to people.  It also acknowledges these actions and activities, when conducted humanely, benefit the dogs as well.

What You Can Do:

Those who reside in Illinois – and especially those who use working dogs or participate in conformation or performance events in the state – are encouraged to contact the following legislators in support of HB 3728.  Let them know how the bill would make a positive impact on you, your dogs, and your club.

For more information on communicating the benefit of dog events, view AKC’s 2019 “Economic Impact of AKC Dog Events in Illinois” and our handout “It Pays to Support AKC Dog Shows

Contact the Sponsor- Thank him for sponsoring HB 3728:
Rep. Tom Demmer
(217) 782-0535

Submit a witness slip before the March 23 Committee hearing – Visit the hearing web page, scroll down to HB 3728, and click on the pencil icon and follow the instructions for creating a witness slip in support.

Contact the committee prior to the March 23 hearing – If you are a constituent of a committee member, be sure to mention that in your communication:

Anthony DeLuca, Chair (Chicago Heights)
(217) 782-1719

Barbara Hernandez, Vice Chairperson (Aurora)
(217) 558-1002

Andrew S. Chesney (Freeport)
(217) 782-8186

Brad Halbrook (Shelbyville)
(217) 782-8398

Jay Hoffman (Belleville)
(217) 782-0104

Frances Ann Hurley (Chicago)
(217) 782-8200

Mark Luft (Pekin)
(217) 782-8152

Debbie Meyers-Martin (Matteson)
(217) 558-1007

Martin J. Moylan (Des Plaines)
(217) 782-8007

Robert Rita (Blue Island)
(217) 558-1000

Joe Sosnowski (Rockford)
(217) 782-0548

Bradley Stephens (Rosemont)
(217) 782-8182

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners will continue to monitor this legislation and all legislative issues impacting dog owners in Illinois.  For more information, contact AKC GR at