Amends the Animal Welfare Act. Provides that the definition of "kennel operator" does not include an animal control facility operated directly by a government agency; a veterinary hospital that does not board animals overnight for other than ongoing veterinary treatment; or a person who owns, has possession of, or harbors 5 or fewer females capable of reproduction, unless the animals are being kept overnight for a fee or compensation. Requires veterinary hospitals engaged in boarding services to obtain kennel operator licenses. Requires applicants for original licensure to provide proof of zoning compliance. Provides that the Illinois Department of Agriculture may refuse to issue a license if the applicant, or a known prospective employee of the applicant, has ever been convicted of violating an animal cruelty statute. Provides that the Department shall not (instead of may refuse to) issue or renew a license and shall (instead of may) suspend or revoke a license if an applicant or licensee has engaged in certain activities or made certain types of misleading statements. Increases licensing fees. Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Changes the definition of "animal shelter" to exclude veterinary hospitals or clinics that also operate overnight boarding facilities.

Current Status: 2/19/2015 - Postponed - Licensed Activities and Pensions
Recent Status: 2/11/2015 - Assigned to Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions
1/28/2015 - Referred to Senate Assignments

IFDCO Position Paper for SB 108

The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), is comprised of thousands of Illinois dog professionals. IFDCO acknowledges that there are many kennel operators, veterinarians, breeders and shelters that operate within the current laws and do an admirable job. However, all of these entities should be held to the same standards of care for the animals they harbor. IFDCO is opposed to the suggested changes to the Animal Welfare Act contained within SB 108.

** Requiring proof of zoning compliance has the potential to put legitimate businesses out of business as the zoning requirements for different licenses may differ significantly. The local community should be the decision maker for zoning compliance. There is no grandfather clause in this bill that would allow well established businesses to remain in business.

** Current Illinois law requires anyone having 6 or more intact females to obtain a “kennel Operator” license, even though the individual may never breed a litter or board an animal. This bill would force individuals who keep animals for personal enjoyment only, to seek expensive “business zoning” classification.

** There are over 700 licensed animal shelters and rescues in IL, many of which are home based and have multiple foster homes with animals as well. These shelters take in and sell dogs and cats and should be required to adhere to the same zoning requirements as a kennel operator. The only difference is the source of the animals.

** It is over-burdensome and impractical to base a licensee’s application or renewal on the possibility of hiring a person who has been convicted of an animal cruelty offense. This should be handled on a case by case basis. A small business such as a kennel operator will not have the means to determine if a prospective employee has been convicted of an animal cruelty offense without the expense of a background check.

** With the increasing incidence of animal abuse and neglect in shelters and rescues the same criteria should apply to these facilities with regard to hiring employees that have been convicted of animal cruelty. Animal cruelty is

** SB 108 removes the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s ability to consider licensee infraction on a case by case basis. Since no two situations are alike, the Department should be able to take extenuating circumstances into account when infractions occur.

** Small hobby breeders who are not currently required to be licensed but may occasionally board a female for breeding purposes frequently charge for the dog’s care while in their custody. This bill would then require them to hold a kennel operator license for an event that usually spans less than a week.

** IFDCO is concerned that if veterinary hospitals are removed from the definition of animal shelter that this will increase the number of stray animals who may be injured or are left without veterinary care if found by the public. The general public trusts a found dog to a veterinary clinic, especially when a municipal or county facility is closed. 

** Requiring a veterinary clinic to be dual licensed creates an undue burden on such facilities and is redundant.

** IFDCO can understand the need for an increase in licensing fees. However, a 300% increase is enormous and will burden small kennel operators and shelters who are already suffering from a decreased economy and funding. This is the time to encourage small businesses in Illinois, not make it burdensome to maintain a license.

Amends the Animal Control Act. Provides that each Administrator shall post on his or her website: (1) all locations in the county that impound dogs and cats; (2) the operating hours of those locations; (3) the contact information for those locations; and (4) the applicable redemption fees for dogs and cats. Provides that any dog found to be vicious must be listed in a database by the Administrator or Director, along with any other dangerous wild animals. Provides that the database shall include the name, current address, contact information, and other pertinent information of the owner, and the database shall be made available to first responders in the region in order to put them on notice before they respond to a call to any location.  

Current Status: 2/25/2015 - Assigned to Senate Agriculture
Recent Status: 2/18/2015 - Referred to Senate Assignments
2/18/2015 - FIRST READING


The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), is comprised of thousands of Illinois dog professionals. IFDCO is concerned with the safety of first responders in emergency situations but is not confident SB 1362 achieves a higher level of safety in these situations. IFDCO is opposed to the suggested changes to the Animal Control Act contained within SB 1362.

** This bill mandates action to create and maintain a vicious dog database that is made available to first responders. There is no indication of the cost to implement and maintain this database, nor who will bear the financial burden. The bill does not note the dates, hours or times that such database is available to first responders or if it will be an accessible link or page. Our state and local community budgets are already stretched thinly, another unfunded mandate will not improve the issue.

** First responders may be hesitant about responding to a call with a known vicious dog; they may delay to take extra precautions and this may put residents in danger, especially the elderly or children who are not the owners of the vicious dog. This may be more of an issue if a vicious dog has died or been moved but the list has not been updated to reflect that there is no longer a vicious dog on the premises.

** The definition of a vicious dog varies greatly in different communities. It is unclear as to which criteria will be used to determine if a vicious dog is present.

** “Any other dangerous wild animals” is not defined and no specific species is noted.

** There is no written provision regarding the confidentiality of the names and contact information for the owners of vicious dogs contained within the database. The possibility of this information becoming public knowledge puts owners at risk of property damage and/or harassment.

** What constitutes “other pertinent information of the owner”?

** It is unclear if this database will only contain those dogs that have been through the established process to determine if they are vicious, or if it may include dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs, or dogs of specific breeds as identified in certain localities.

** Police killing of dogs is on the increase in the United States. This database has the potential to increase the number of dogs killed by law enforcement as they will already be “on alert” when visiting a particular property.

** Since some shelters and rescues in Illinois are not compliant with current Illinois law requiring them to notify local animal control facilities when a stray is released to them, this bill should not exempt these facilities from compliance with the notifications of operating hours and contact information so that owners can be reunited with lost pets.

** Will this database be made available to the general public, the postal service, delivery companies or utility companies?

Creates the Research Dogs and Cats Adoption Act.
Requires (i) an institution of higher education located in this State that receives public funds for scientific, educational, or research purposes or (ii) a facility that provides research in collaboration with an institution of higher education with the use of public funds and that confines dogs or cats for scientific, educational, or research purposes and plans on euthanizing the dog or cat for other than scientific, educational, or research purposes must first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization. Sets forth provisions concerning an agreement with an animal rescue organization and immunity.

Current Status: 2/25/2015 - Assigned to Senate Agriculture
Recent Status: 2/18/2015 - Referred to Senate Assignments
2/18/2015 - FIRST READING

Amends the Animal Welfare Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title.

Current Status: 2/20/2015 - Referred to Senate Assignments
Recent Status: 2/20/2015 - FIRST READING
2/20/2015 - Filed with Secretary by Sen. Bill Cunningham

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 concerning dangerous animals. Adds a definition of "animal refuge" to the statute on dangerous animals. Provides that the prohibition on possessing dangerous animals does not apply to a properly maintained zoological park accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), circus, college or university, scientific institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, hound running area, or animal refuge. Provides that the prohibition on possessing dangerous animals does not prohibit a person who possesses a Class C exhibitor license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture from possessing a dangerous animal or primate; however, after the effective date of the amendatory Act the person may not breed or otherwise acquire a dangerous animal other than an ocelot, margay, lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, hyena, wolf or coyote, or any poisonous or life-threatening reptile. Provides that the prohibition on possessing dangerous animals does not apply to any motion picture or television production company employing or contracting with a dealer or exhibitor licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act or with a carrier, intermediate handler, or unlicensed exhibitor registered under that Act for the transportation, purchase, exhibition, or use of dangerous animals in its motion picture or television production.
Effective immediately.

Current Status: 2/20/2015 - Referred to Senate Assignments
Recent Status: 2/20/2015 - FIRST READING
2/20/2015 - Filed with Secretary by Sen. Kwame Raoul

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