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March 13, 2019

The Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee is considering bills tomorrow (Thursday, March 14) that would significantly increase kennel and other license fees in the state, and also regulate foster homes and transport groups.

Illinois residents that have a kennel operator (for boarding, training, etc) or state breeder license, or those that are involved in rescue in the state may provide comments to the committee on these bills prior to the hearing on Thursday, March 14 (Scroll down for committee contact information, or you can submit an online witness slip here).

Summary:

Increased license fees – Senate Bill 61 Amendment 1 and Senate Bill 2131 would both significantly increase state license fees, which have remained the same for many years.

Senate Bill 2131 would increase license fees, including the following:

  • Individual licenses (this includes breeders who have more than 5 females capable of reproduction and sell, offer to sell, or exchange dogs they have bred and raised) – increased from a $25 fee to $350 fee for an original license as well as the annual renewal fee.
  • Permits and renewal permits for foster homes would be increased from $25 to $50, and
  • Any property that requires more than one license (for example, those who are breeders but also have boarding or training facilities), a $50 fee would be required for each additional license. Currently, a person does not have to purchase multiple licenses.

Under Senate Bill 61, Amendment 1, these same fee increases would apply, and also include a $350 initial license for animal shelters, animal control facilities, and transport groups.  Other increases include the following:

  • Annual renewal licenses would be increased from $25 to $100 for all except shelters, animal control facilities, or transport groups (the proposed increased for these entities would be $50).
  • Any entity that requires more than one license (for example, a breeder that also has boarding or training facilities on their property) are not currently required to purchase multiple licenses. However, under this amendment, a separate license would be required at the full increased price.

Regulations for foster homes and transport groups – Senate Bill 61 Amendment 1 would establish new regulations for foster homes, transport groups, and shelters.  Some of the changes include the following:

  • Amending the definition and regulations of a “foster home”: Currently this is defined as an entity that accepts responsibility for stewardship of animals that are the obligation of a shelter or animal control facility. The new definition would expand this to include transport groups.  In addition, the definition currently defines a foster home as one that does not exceed 4 animals; under this amendment it would be changed to 4 foster animals or 2 litters under 12 weeks of age.

    In the definition, it says that a written agreement may be contracted between a shelter/animal control facility and a foster home, yet other places in the bill require a formal written agreement.  It is unclear what is actually required or how regulations (such as the number of animals a foster home is permitted to have at one time) would be enforced if foster homes do not have a formal agreement with a shelter or animal control facility.

    The amendment also states that foster homes may be inspected by the state if there is a complaint.

  • Defining a “transport group” – This new regulated group is defined as a non-profit organization located in Illinois that does not have a building or facility and transports or transfers animals among shelters or animal control facilities for adoption, release, return, or transfer. Those who meet this definition would need to be licensed and comply with state regulations.

AKC clubs involved in rescue activities in Illinois are encouraged to review the amendment to see how it would impact operations in the state.

What You Can Do:

Those who wish to comment on these bills may do so in one of the following manners:

  • Submit an online witness slip – Comments may be submitted directly to the committee by completing an online witness slip at this link. Select the bill you wish to comment on from the list and follow the online steps.  Comments are accepted through the end of the day on March 14; however, the AKC recommends that they be submitted prior to the meeting, which begins at 8:00 am.
  • Contact the members of the committee:
    Scott Bennett, Chair – (217) 782-2507
    Sen. Linda Holmes, Vice Chair (and sponsor of SB 61 and SB 2131) – (217) 782-0422
    Sen. Bill Cunningham – (217) 782-5145
    Sen. Laura Ellman – (217) 782-8192
    Sen. David Koehler – (217) 782-8250
    Sen. Andy Manar – (217) 782-0228
    Sen. Julie Morrison – (217) 782-3650
    Sen. Patricia Van Pelt – (217) 782-6252
    Sen. Craig Wilcox – (217) 782-8000
    Sen. Steve McClure – (217) 782-8206
    Sen. Paul Schimpf – (217) 782-8137
    Sen. Jil Tracy – (217) 782-2479

For additional information on this bill, contact the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners at schipnut58@yahoo.com or AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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