HB5978 - ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY  *** OPPOSED ***   

VOTE NO on HOUSE BILL 5978
The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFCDO) supports full enforcement of existing Illinois humane laws to properly convict and punish those who are guilty of crimes involving animals. We do not believe the creation of Animal Abuse Registry is in the best interest of animals or the state of Illinois for the reasons listed below.

** Animal abuse cases comprise less than 1% of all convictions in the State of Illinois. At this time, the small percentage of convictions does not warrant the large expenditure of funds required to set up and maintain a registry.

** Animal Abuse registries are expensive to set up and maintain. The VirginiaDepartment of State Police estimated that approximately $986,000 would be needed to design and develop a new registry and website and an additional $126,411 each year for associated support services. Additional monies would be needed to provide legal services to review and defend legal issues associated with the registry and the quality assurance for the accuracy of the data.

** Money would be better spent hiring additional Illinois Department of Agriculture (DOA) Inspectors to allow better enforcement of Illinois humane laws. Currently DOA is operating with 8 less state-wide inspectors than 2003.

** The State of Illinois doesn’t maintain public databases for convicted Child Abusers, Domestic Abusers, Burglars, or Drug Traffickers, all of which comprise a much greater percentage of felony convictions in Illinois.

** The bill lacks definition of psychiatric or psychological testing required to be removed from the registry. No such testing exists, nor will psychiatrists and psychologists accept liability without clearly defined testing procedures.

Call the House Agriculture Committee and tell them to VOTE NO on HOUSE BILL 5978.

AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Patrick J. Verschoore (217) 782-5970
Jerry F. Costello, II (217) 782-1018
Donald L. Moffitt (217) 782-8032
Kelly Burke (217) 782-0515
John D. Cavaletto (217) 782-0066
Katherine Cloonen (217) 782-5981
Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (217) 782-8272
Brad E. Halbrook (217) 558-1040
Josh Harms (217) 558-1039
Stephanie A. Kifowit (217) 782-8028
Frank J. Mautino (217) 782-0140
Charles E. Meier (217) 782-6401
Christian L. Mitchell (217) 782-2023
Raymond Poe (217) 782-0044
Wayne Rosenthal (217) 782-8071
Sue Scherer (217) 524-0353
Brian W. Stewart (217) 782-8186

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the State Finance Act. Creates the Animal Abuse Registry Fund. Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that the Department of Agriculture shall create and maintain an animal abuse registry. Provides that any person 18 years of age or older that resides in or is domiciled in this State that has been convicted of cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty, or animal torture shall register with the Department of Agriculture within 30 calendar days after the date of conviction to be placed on the animal abuse registry. Failure to register is a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a subsequent violation. Prohibits a registered person from owning a companion animal or being employed at an animal shelter, pound, pet shop, zoo, or other business where companion animals are present.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB5940 - CRIM CD-DANGEROUS ANIMALS  ***MONITOR ***
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 concerning dangerous animals. Adds a definition of "animal refuge" to the statute on dangerous animals. Provides that it is unlawful for any person to allow a member of the public to come into direct contact with a dangerous animal. 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, if the dangerous animal or primate is kept in an escape-proof enclosure. 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 June 1, 2014 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. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB5910 - INC TX- PET ADOPTION CREDIT  ***MONITOR ***
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Provides that each individual taxpayer is entitled to a credit in an amount equal to any adoption fees paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year in connection with the adoption of a cat or dog from a county animal control facility, a humane society, or an animal rescue organization, but not to exceed $100 per taxpayer in any taxable year. Provides that the credit may not be claimed for more than 3 animals in a taxable year. Provides that the credit is exempt from the Act's automatic sunset provisions. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB5604 - ANIMALS-NATURAL DISASTERS  ***SUPPORT ***
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Animal Control Act. Provides that a County Animal Control that is located in a county that has been declared a disaster area under the Disaster Relief Act due to a natural disaster, or in a county which a part of the county has been declared a disaster area under the Disaster Relief Act due to a natural disaster, shall retain impounded animals for twice its normal retention time or for a minimum of 14 days after the disaster declaration, whichever is longer, before the County Animal Control may proceed with the adoption, transfer, or euthanasia of the impounded animal. Provides that a County Animal Control shall keep a detailed list of the impounded animals that were transferred to another facility for a minimum of one month after the disaster. Provides that facilities receiving transferred animals shall retain the impounded animals for twice its normal retention time or for a minimum of 14 days after the disaster declaration, whichever is longer. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB5603 - ANIMALS-NATURAL DISASTERS  *** SUPPORT ***
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Animal Control Act. Provides that a County Animal Control that is located in a county that has been declared a disaster area under the Disaster Relief Act due to a natural disaster, or in a county which a part of the county has been declared a disaster area under the Disaster Relief Act due to a natural disaster, shall retain impounded animals for a minimum of 3 days beyond its normal retention time before the County Animal Control may proceed with the adoption, transfer, or euthanasia of the impounded animal. Provides that a County Animal Control shall keep a detailed list of the impounded animals that were transferred to another facility for a minimum of one month after the disaster. Provides that facilities receiving transferred animals shall retain the impounded animals for an additional 3 days beyond its normal retention time. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB4410 - ANIMAL WELFARE ACT-ADMIN FINES  *** OPPOSED ***

Talking Points for House Bill 4410

We find the following issues with HB4410:

 
-A fine or multiple fines can be levied for even a minor violation such as paperwork which has nothing to do with care or conditions of the animals. Under the proposed legislation, minor paperwork infractions or a leaf in a water bowl could result in thousands of dollars in fines.

 
-Multiple fines can be incurred in one visit without the opportunity for correction.

 
-Violations are recorded by inspectors on site, though the determination to levy a fine is left to an attorney in Springfield.

 
- This law as proposed, could be used by groups or individuals to effectively “bully" legitimate shelters, rescue groups, licensed breeders, boarding kennels and animal control facilities out of business by repeatedly calling Department of Agriculture to report a violation. Department of Agriculture is required to inspect every time a report is made.
In 2010 when HB5772 was enacted requiring animal shelters, animal controls and pet stores to disclose the source of the animal, any medical care given to the animal and or any congenital defects, the Department of Agriculture was inundated with calls from certain groups claiming that the pet stores were in violation.
The systematic targeting could force legitimate businesses to close, thus reducing revenue into the State of Illinois.

 
-All appeals for violations must be handled in Springfield. Many small animal controls or shelters do not have the manpower to travel to Springfield to appeal a violation/fine.


Call the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee to OPPOSE
SB4410 Increased Fines

 
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CALL !

 
Senate Agriculture Committee
 
Kyle McCarter - (217) 782-5755
William Brady - (217) 782-6216
Andy Manar - (217) 782-0228
Sam McCann - (217) 782-8206
Mike Jacobs - (217) 782-5957
Linda Holmes - (217) 782-0422
Michael Frerichs - (217) 782-2507
John Sullivan - (217) 782-2479
David Koehler - (217) 782-8250

  VOTE NO on HOUSE BILL 4410

If you do not know who your Senator is, please click on the link below and enter your address.
http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Animal Welfare Act. Increases certain penalties that the Department of Agriculture shall impose upon a person or entity who violates any provision of the Act or rule adopted under the Act. Provides that an administrative fine of $500 (rather than $200) shall be imposed for the first violation; a fine of $1,000 (rather than $500) shall be imposed for a second violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation; and that mandatory probationary status and a fine of $2,500 (rather than mandatory probationary status and a fine of $1,000) shall be imposed for a third violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB4195 -- ANIMAL ABUSE AND FORFEITURE  UPDATED

Talking Points for House Bill 4195 Forfeiture – *** Opposed  *** 
The Illinois Federation Of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO) believe that current law, which gives the court the discretion to remove an animal from a harmful owner, is in the best interest of the animal. House Bill 4195 would have the unintended consequence of harming animals because the court would have no choice but to remove an animal from a loving home even for the most minor of violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act.  

 -House Bill 4195 permanently removes animals from the care of their owners even for relatively minor violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act. Under current law, the court may remove an animal from its owner if they deem it in the best interest of the animal. This bill takes away that discretion from the court and makes it mandatory. 

 -An example of a minor offense that would require the animal to be taken away from its owner is improper tethering. Under House Bill 4195, a dog that is on a 9 foot long tether instead of the required 10 foot tether would be taken away from their owner. At the same time, a child is not removed from their parent’s care because a car seat is installed improperly (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains that 3 out of every 4 car seats are installed improperly). Similar to improperly installed car seats, an owner with an improper tether only needs to be educated to fix the situation. Dog owners, like parents, don’t want to see harm come to the ones they love. 

 -House Bill 4195 would swell shelter intakes and drive up animal control costs - especially for rural shelters without adoption programs in place - because the courts would be required to remove animals from loving families for minor violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act. This could mean death to the confiscated animal, especially large or older mixed breed dogs and cats, because there isn’t the capacity to care for an influx of animals. 

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that upon conviction of improper care, cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty, or animal torture, the court shall order the convicted person to forfeit to an animal control or animal shelter the animal or animals that are the basis of the conviction. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB4188 ANIMAL ABUSE  UPDATED  *** OPPOSED *** 

VOTE NO on HOUSE BILL 4188
The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFCDO) supports full enforcement of existing Illinois humane laws to properly convict and punish those who are guilty of crimes involving animals. We do not believe the creation of Animal Abuse Registry is in the best interest of animals or the state of Illinois for the reasons listed below.

** Animal abuse cases comprise less than 1% of all convictions in the State of Illinois. At this time, the small percentage of convictions does not warrant the large expenditure of funds required to set up and maintain a registry.

** Animal Abuse registries are expensive to set up and maintain. The VirginiaDepartment of State Police estimated that approximately $986,000 would be needed to design and develop a new registry and website and an additional $126,411 each year for associated support services. Additional monies would be needed to provide legal services to review and defend legal issues associated with the registry and the quality assurance for the accuracy of the data.

** Money would be better spent hiring additional Illinois Department of Agriculture (DOA) Inspectors to allow better enforcement of Illinois humane laws. Currently DOA is operating with 8 less state-wide inspectors than 2003.

** The State of Illinois doesn’t maintain public databases for convicted Child Abusers, Domestic Abusers, Burglars, or Drug Traffickers, all of which comprise a much greater percentage of felony convictions in Illinois.

** The bill lacks definition of psychiatric or psychological testing required to be removed from the registry. No such testing exists, nor will psychiatrists and psychologists accept liability without clearly defined testing procedures.

Call the House Agriculture Committee and tell them to VOTE NO on HOUSE BILL 4188.

AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Patrick J. Verschoore (217) 782-5970
Jerry F. Costello, II (217) 782-1018
Donald L. Moffitt (217) 782-8032
Kelly Burke (217) 782-0515
John D. Cavaletto (217) 782-0066
Katherine Cloonen (217) 782-5981
Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (217) 782-8272
Brad E. Halbrook (217) 558-1040
Josh Harms (217) 558-1039
Stephanie A. Kifowit (217) 782-8028
Frank J. Mautino (217) 782-0140
Charles E. Meier (217) 782-6401
Christian L. Mitchell (217) 782-2023
Raymond Poe (217) 782-0044
Wayne Rosenthal (217) 782-8071
Sue Scherer (217) 524-0353
Brian W. Stewart (217) 782-8186

Synopsis as Introduced:
Amends the State Finance Act. Creates the Animal Abuse Registry Fund. Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that the Department of Agriculture shall create and maintain an animal abuse registry. Provides that any person 18 years of age or older that resides in or is domiciled in this State that has been convicted of cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty, or animal torture shall register with the Department of Agriculture within30 calendar days after the date of conviction to be placed on the animal abuse registry. Failure to register is a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a subsequent violation. Prohibits a registered person from owning a companion animal or being employed at an animal shelter, pound, pet shop, zoo, or other business where companion animals are present.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB3779 -- ANIMAL ABUSE-PENALTIES  UPDATED

Talking Points for House Bill 3779 Increased Penalties - *** OPPOSED *** 

-The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO) is a dedicated group of dog fanciers from many professions who strive to keep the animal related laws of Illinois fair and reasonable. Increasing the penalties as proposed by House Bill 3779 would redefine crimes against animals’ equivalent in penalties to similar crimes committed against humans that are defined in the Illinois Criminal Code. Should this occur, animals would now be equal to humans under Illinois law. 

-This bill elevates the act of animal abandonment to felony status. This may actually INCREASE the number of animals abandoned in rural areas under cover of darkness so owners may avoid prosecution. Animals released in this manner often are hit by vehicles or attacked by wild animals resulting in injury or death.

-Increases in sentencing for other offenses as mandated by this bill would put more offenders behind bars when convicted, even for first time infractions. Given that Illinois already has overcrowded prisons, with each Illinois prisoner costing the state $38,268 per year in expenses (2010 costs, as determined by Vera Institute of Justice*), Illinois simply cannot afford this bill.

-This bill may actually weaken animal cruelty laws in Illinois. If a judge or jury believes the penalties for such a crime to be excessive, they may find an accused innocent even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary.

*Source: Christian Henrichson and Ruth Delaney, The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers. New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2012 http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/Price_of_Prisons_updated_version_972512.pdf

Synopsis As Introduced: Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Increases the penalties for convictions of cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty, and animal torture.
CLICK HERE​ FOR MORE ​


HB3768 -- AGGRAVATED ANIMAL CRUELTY  ***MONITOR ***
Synopsis As Introduced: Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that no person may knowingly beat, cruelly treat, torment, starve, overwork, or otherwise abuse any animal in the presence of a minor. Defines "in the presence of a minor”.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


HB3767 -- ANIMALS-EUTHANASIA  ***MONITOR ***
Synopsis As Introduced: Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act and the Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters Act. Prohibits the use of carbon monoxide as a euthanasia agent for companion animals. Provides that euthanasia of a companion animal shall only be performed using established injectable euthanasia agents. Provides that the use of other euthanasia agents on companion animals is aggravated cruelty.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


SB3337 - ANIMALS-ADEQUATE SHELTER    *** OPPOSED ***   

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that each owner shall provide for each of his or her animals adequate shelter and adequate space. Defines "adequate shelter" and "adequate space”.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


SB3138 -- ANIMAL-DO NOT ADOPT REGISTRY  *** OPPOSED ***

LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
PLEASE CALL THE SENATE STATE GOVERNMENT AND VETERAN'S AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TO OPPOSE SB3138 DO NOT ADOPT REGISTRY
MUST CALL WEDNESDAY MARCH 19 OR THURSDAY, MARCH 20 BETWEEN 8:30AM-1:30PM HEARING IS AT 2:00PM

VOTE NO on SENATE BILL 3138

The Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFCDO) supports full enforcement of existing Illinois humane laws to properly convict and punish those who are guilty of crimes involving animals. We do not believe the creation of a Do Not Adopt Registry is in the best interest of animals or the offenders who may never be removed from the registry stigma even after completing their sentences. Creating this registry attempts to elevate the status of animals to that of humans. Animals in Illinois currently are, and should remain, property. Illinois is currently ranked #1 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund as having the best animal cruelty laws in the United States.

** Animal Abuse Registries/Do Not Adopt Registries have been proposed annually for over a decade. Attempts to enact registries have been unsuccessful in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and previously in Illinois

** Enacting SB3138 has a price tag. The ALDF registry scheme will burden courts with additional data processing and system development costs. Who will be responsible for enforcing and tracking down animal abuse offenders who do not register annually or pay the fines involved?

** There will be costs involved in the collection, verification and transmission of the data to the ALDF registry. The bill does not outline who will be responsible for those costs. Similar bills in 28 other states have all been defeated due to start up and maintenance costs involved in creating, handling and/or maintaining a registry.

** The bill does not address how or if offenders will be removed from the list once they have completed their sentence. If offenders can be removed, it is not stated how will this be accomplished and who bears the responsibility and cost for removal.

** It is unclear as to who bears the responsibility for the accuracy of the data entered into the database and how this data will be used since it will reside with a non-government third party.

** It is unclear regarding who will bear the liability for inaccurate data included in the registry. The bill implies that ALDF will essentially become a quasi government body that may be granted immunity from lawsuits stemming from its errors and omissions.

** The bill does not address fines paid by registrants. It is unclear if these fines will be paid directly to ALDF for costs incurred to maintain the registry.

** Any shelter, pet store or individual is always free to do a private background search and most do some sort of reference, veterinary or home visit check prior to transferring animals to another person. There is a possibility that these facilities would then only rely on the do not adopt database instead of performing their normal due diligence in selling animals, especially at public adoption events.

** There is a risk for identity theft as the information included in the database is sufficient for such to occur. This sensitive information would be provided to a PRIVATE entity with no clear legal responsibility with regard to their use and handling of the data.

** Shelters, breeders, pet stores and individuals are concerned about liability for using the database information to refuse a person an animal. The possibility exists that they may need to add insurance against this new liability.

** This list will be available to landlords, employers and health care agencies and may be used for the purpose of denying and individual housing, employment, or services.

** The addition of Section 19 (c) seeks to bestow immunity on animal shelters, pet stores, animal breeders or individuals for either using or failing to use the registry, which makes it difficult to support the need for such a registry.

A comprehensive article on animal abuse registries can be found at:   http://saova.org/ALDF_AbuserRegistry.html

Please call the following members of the Senate State Government and Veteran's Affairs Committee -Wednesday March 19th or between the hours of 8:30am-1:30pm, Thursday March 20th

William E. Brady (217) 782-6216
Kirk Dillard (217) 782-8148
Dan Dufy (217) 782-8010
Jason A Barickman (217) 782-6597
Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (217) 782-6597
Melinda Bush (217) 782-7353
Thomas Cullerton (217) 782-9463
Michael E. Hastings (217) 782-9595
Andy Manar (217) 782-0228
Julie A. Morrison (217) 782-3650
Steve Stadelman (217) 782-8022
Steven Landek (217) 782-0054

If you do not know who your Legislator is, please click on the link below and enter your address.
http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx


Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Upon entering a conviction for a violation of specified provisions of the Act, or of specified provisions of the Criminal Code of 2012, by a defendant 18 years of age or older, the presiding judge shall notify the defendant that the conviction will be reported to the national Do Not Adopt Registry. Provides that, for convictions that occurred on and after January 1, 2015, the clerk of the court shall send notice of the conviction and the defendant's name, date of birth, physical description (gender, ethnicity, eye color, hair color, height, weight), and offense for which the defendant has been convicted, to the national Do Not Adopt Registry. Provides that, for convictions that occurred before January 1, 2015, the clerk may send notice to the national Do Not Adopt Registry of convictions by a defendant 18 years of age or older. Provides that any animal shelter, pet store, animal breeder, or individual shall conduct a search of the national Do Not Adopt Registry prior to selling, transferring, delivering, or placing for adoption a companion animal to another person.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


SB3050 -- VETERINARIANS-INVESTIGATIONS  ***MONITOR ***
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004. Provides that a veterinarian licensed or veterinary technician certified in another state may practice in Illinois in connection with an investigation by law enforcement of an alleged violation of federal or State animal fighting or animal cruelty laws if the law enforcement authority determines that the veterinarian or veterinary technician possesses particular skills, training, or experience not otherwise available within this State and if the law enforcement authority extends an official invitation to the veterinarian or veterinary technician. Further provides that a nonprofit organization qualified under Section 501 (c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals may, in connection with an investigation by law enforcement of an alleged violation of federal or State animal fighting or animal cruelty laws, establish a temporary facility to receive animals affected by the investigation if the law enforcement authority determines that such a facility is necessary, the law enforcement authority extends an official invitation, and the facility meets certain standards under State law. Effective immediately.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION









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