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.
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