Illinois

Illinois Bill Proposes Harsher Penalties for Animal Abusers

An Illinois Senate Bill would put harsher punishment in place for animal abusers who kill a pet by the act of abuse.

Authored by Illinois State Senator Steve McClure, a brief summary of Illinois Senate Bill 2995 states:

Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Makes changes to the penalties for persons convicted of aggravated cruelty to a companion animal. Provides that a person convicted of causing the death of a companion animal is guilty of a Class 2 felony (rather than a Class 4 felony). Provides that a second or subsequent conviction for an act that causes the death of a companion animal is a Class 1 felony (rather than a Class 3 felony).

“Illinois law treats a criminal who abuses and kills someone’s pet the same as someone who commits a second retail theft,” said McClure. “If someone walks into a public bar and slaps another person without their permission, it is the same level of crime as when someone takes another’s pet, violently tortures it for hours, and then kills it,” said McClure.

Under current Illinois animal abuse laws, aggravated abuse of a companion animal or pet is a Class 4 felony. Under Senator McClure’s proposed legislation, the offense would become a more serious Class 2 felony if the abuse leads to the death of the pet. A second-time offense would then be an even more severe Class 1 felony. The legislation would not, however, include cases of self-defense against an animal, or instances where a pet is euthanized.

“This legislation should put animal abusers on notice. If you murder a pet, you will be punished,” said Senator McClure. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bipartisan legislation into law.”

You can view the full text of Illinois Senate Bill 2995 here.

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