Tomorrow (Tuesday, February 28), two Illinois House committees will consider bills related to dogs and dog ownership.
Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to provide comments and submit witness slips today.
- Express your support for limiting breed discrimination in insurance coverage. (HB 1049)
- Convey your appreciation for amendments to the bill creating a “lawyers for dogs” program, while expressing your concerns for the underlying policy. (HB 1169)
See the summaries below for information on the bills and on how to contact the committees and submit witness slips prior to tomorrow’s hearings.
House Bill 1049 – Preventing Breed Discrimination in Insurance Policies
House Bill 1049 prohibits insurers from refusing to issue, renew or cancel or raise premiums for homeowner’s insurance based solely on breed of dog (or mixed-breed) owned by the policyholder after the law goes into effect. The bill does allow for insurance companies to take these actions if any dog (regardless of breed) has been declared dangerous based on current law, so long as these actions are based on “sound underwriting and actuarial principles” that are reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss.
What You Can Do: If you have not yet done so, submit a witness slip in support of House Bill 1049. Here’s how: Visit the committee hearing page and click on the “Create Witness Slip” icon next to HB 1049. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information on the bill and to view contact information for members of the committee.
House Bill 1169 – Animal Advocates for Cruelty Cases
House Bill 1169 would provide a legal advocate in court for a dog or cat in legal cases involving the health, safety, or an injury of a dog or cat. At the request of AKC and the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), the sponsor has filed amendments to clarify that the bill will not alter the legal status of animals as “a unique class of personal property” (This terminology ensures it is in line with current Illinois law regarding treatment of animals as property.)
While we appreciate this amendment, bills such as HB 1169 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.
What You Can Do: If you have not yet done so, submit a witness slip in opposition of House Bill 1169.
Here’s How: Visit the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee hearing page and click on the “create witness slip” icon next to HB 1169 to register your opposition. View AKC’s previous alert for more information and talking points on the bill, as well as contact information for the committee members.
AKC and IFDCO continue to closely monitor all bills impacting dog owners in the state and will provide updates as they are available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org or IFDCO at email@example.com.