The Illinois Legislature returned from Spring Break and immediately continued work on bills impacting dog owners and breeders in the state. AKC and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs are working hard to advocate for responsible purebred dog owners. We urge dog owners, Illinois dog clubs and breeders to join us in working to protect your rights by contacting your lawmakers with respectful input on the following proposed canine legislation.
Highlights of bills impacting dog owners in Illinois include:
- Senate Bill 1672- Reports on Dog-Related Insurance Claims
Status: Hearing in Senate Insurance Committee, April 21, 5:00 pm
This bill originally sought to prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against policyholders based on the breed of dog they own. The bill has been amended to instead require reporting of all dog-related incidents to the state unless the insurance company certifies that they do not keep any breed lists or restrictions. If there is a dog-related claim on a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, many items must be reported, including:
- The breed involved and how the breed was identified (and if it was a visual identification, who made the identification and a list of their qualifications), as well as the dog’s gender and whether it has been sterilized.
- Whether the person or domestic animal that was attacked and/or injured breached an enclosure without authorization, and whether the victim was a resident, invitee, licensee, or had another status. The report must also include whether the dog was being teased or harassed, or otherwise provoked
- Whether the dog was leashed, whether the attack occurred inside or outside, and the nature of the injury.
- Any training, previous behavior issues, dangerous dog status, etc. applied to the dog.
Those who wish to comment on this legislation are encouraged to reach out to the Senate Insurance Committee prior to the hearing on April 21.
- House Bill 3971 – New Regulations for Licensed Breeders
Status: Hearing in House Agriculture & Conservation Committee, April 20, 3:00pm
This bill was introduced at the request of the Illinois Department of Agriculture and establishes further requirements for those licensed as commercial breeders (currently defined as those who more than five intact females). While AKC believes most of the requirements are reasonable, we are working with the sponsor to develop some amendments to ensure that home-based breeders are not negatively impacted.
Those who wish to comment on this legislation are encouraged to contact the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee prior to the hearing on April 20.
- Senate Bill 153 – “Lawyers for Dogs”
Status: Pending a vote by the full Senate
This bill, opposed by AKC and IFDCO, remains pending on the Senate floor. This bill is similar to bills 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. These bills 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.
Illinois dog owners are urged to call your State Senator in opposition to this legislation. Read AKC’s previous alert for talking points and more information on how to contact your State Senator.
- House Bill 1711 – Restrictions on Pet Choice and Breed Rescue
Status: Passed House on April 14, pending Senate committee assignment.
This bill would limit pet stores to sourcing dogs and cats only from shelters and rescues that have no affiliation with breeders. House Bill 1711 would restrict pet choice and consumer protection, and also implies that breeders should not be involved in rescue efforts.
Once this bill is assigned to a Senate Committee, AKC GR will be providing an update with information on who to contact.
AKC Government Relations and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners continue to monitor these and all bills impacting Illinois dog owners. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com, or IFDCO at firstname.lastname@example.org.