Punishment for owners who leave their pets outside in extreme weather

Illinois lawmakers have endorsed legislation that, if signed, would see owners who leave their pets outside in extreme weather sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The bill has been sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign into law.

A dog being watched by walker Natalia Straley plays in the snow Feb. 26, 2015, at the Montrose dog beach in Chicago.  (Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune)

A dog being watched by walker Natalia Straley plays in the snow Feb. 26, 2015, at the Montrose dog beach in Chicago. (Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune)

Sponsoring Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, said the bill was inspired by recent cases of dogs during the last Northern Hemisphere winter season; the dogs froze to death.

Although the legislation has passed both the State House and Senate, it needs the Governor to make it a law.  The bill has been opposed by the farming lobby, which fears it will interfere in their businesses.

It’s a progressive piece of legislation in my opinion because animals need our protection and a judge can use his/her discretion in terms of sentencing.

And as for farming, this opens a larger debate about consumption, production economies, and animal welfare – all issues that impact our environment and animals here in New Zealand.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  Chicago Tribune

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