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A bill is moving in the Illinois Senate that would provide an animal a court advocate in cases involving the health, safety, or an injury of a dog or cat.

Senate Bill 153 is similar to bills being introduced in other states in an effort to alter the legal status of animals and provide them with rights, including individual representation, traditionally reserved for children and other people lacking legal capacity.

AKC abhors animal cruelty and strongly believes that those who harm animals should be held accountable.  However, bills such as SB 153 implicitly establish rights for animals, but do nothing to improve the wellbeing of animals or enforce laws to protect animals.  Illinois already has numerous state laws regarding animal cruelty and neglect, and an adequate judicial process in place to handle these situations.

For talking points and more information:

Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact your State Senator TODAY.  Let them know you are a constituent and that you oppose Senate Bill 153.  Use the form provided to contact your State Senator.  You can also visit the AKC Legislative Action Center (www.akcgr.org) and put your zip code in the “Find Your Officials” box to find the name and contact information for your State Senator.

AKC Government Relations and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners continue to monitor this and all Illinois legislation impacting dog owners.  For more information, visit the AKC Legislative Action Center or email doglaw@akc.org.

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