SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A bill could prohibit certain Illinoisans from owning pets.
The Illinois House Judiciary-Criminal Committee approved a bill earlier this week. House Bill 168 would target owners who aggressively harm animals or violate dog fighting and entertainment pet rules. They would also be banned from owning any animals for a period of time determined by a judge.
"If you have been convicted or two or more offenses of aggravated animal cruelty or dog fighting or other animal fighting, then a judge will have the authority to place an order that says you and your household can no longer have any other animals," said Rep. Daniel Didech (D).
The measure creates a Prohibits Future Ownership law. This is a type of law that’s in place in 31 other states. Illinois would be the 32nd state if the measure was signed into law.
"It’s an important tool I think to prevent animal cruelty, which is something in the legislature we take very seriously," Didech said.
Didech said Illinois has some of the strongest animal cruelty penalties in the country.
"Dogs, cats and even farm animals are like family members, and that’s why many people in our state keep animals in their homes," he said. "We want to have very strong anti-cruelty laws on the books and this is going to be a very important tool to allow judges to keep dangerous people away from animals."
The bill was approved by both sides of the aisle unanimously. Didech said he hopes either later this month lawmakers will vote on it at the full House and then it will move onto the Senate.
March 12, 2021 at 06:00AM