Legislation – Bills Signed Into Law

The Illinois General Assembly passed several laws that could dramatically affect animal control agencies and programs. We’ve consolidated those changes below.  This is provided for information use only and agencies should confirm with their legal counsel how the new sections may apply to them.  You can view the entire bills at www.ilga.gov.

Haven’t entered a witness slip before?  See the bottom of the page for instructions.

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Effective January 1, 2019, the following sections will be effective:

Animal Control Act

510 ILCS 5/2.18b – Reckless Dog Owner (new definition)

Sec. 2.18b. Reckless dog owner. “Reckless dog owner” means a person who owns a dog that while anywhere other than upon the property of the owner, and without justification, kills another dog that results in that dog being deemed a dangerous dog under Section 15.1 of this Act and who knowingly allows the dog to violate Section 9 of this Act on 2 occasions within 12 months of the incident for which the dog was deemed dangerous or is involved in another incident that results in the dog being deemed dangerous on a second occasion within 24 months of the original dangerous determination.

510 ILCS 5/3.5 – County Animal Control Population Fund Use Limitation

Sec. 3.5. County animal population fund use limitation. Funds placed in the county animal population control fund may only be used to (1) spay, neuter, vaccinate, or sterilize adopted dogs or cats; (2) spay, neuter, or vaccinate dogs or cats owned by low income county residents who are eligible for the Food Stamp Program or Social Security Disability Benefits Program; or (3) spay, neuter, and vaccinate feral cats in programs recognized by the county or a municipality. This Section does not apply to a county with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants.

510 ILCS 5/5 – Duties and Powers

Sec. 5. Duties and powers.

(a) It shall be the duty of the Administrator or the Deputy Administrator, through sterilization, humane education, rabies inoculation, stray control, impoundment, quarantine, and any other means deemed necessary, to control and prevent the spread of rabies and to exercise dog and cat overpopulation control. It shall also be the duty of the Administrator to investigate and substantiate all claims made under Section 19 of this Act. The duty may include return, adoption, transfer to rescues or other animal shelters, and any other means of ensuring live outcomes of homeless dogs and cats and through sterilization, community outreach, impoundment of pets at risk and any other humane means deemed necessary to address strays and ensure live outcomes for dogs and cats that are not a danger to the community or suffering irremediably.

510 ILCS 5/15.5 – Reckless Dog Owner; Complaint; Penalty: (new)

Sec. 15.5. Reckless dog owner; complaint; penalty.

(a) The Administrator, State’s Attorney, Director, or any citizen may file a complaint in circuit court to determine whether a person is a reckless dog owner. If an owner is determined to be a reckless dog owner by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall order the immediate impoundment and forfeiture of all dogs the reckless dog owner has a property right in. Forfeiture may be to any licensed shelter, rescue, or sanctuary. The court shall further prohibit the property right ownership of a dog by the person determined to be a reckless dog owner for a period of at least 12 months, but not more than 36 months for the first reckless dog owner determination.

(a-5) A dog’s history during ownership by a person found to be a reckless dog owner shall not be considered conclusive of the dog’s temperament and qualification for adoption or transfer. The dog’s temperament shall be independently evaluated by a person qualified to conduct behavioral assessments and, if deemed adoptable, the receiving facility shall make a reasonable attempt to place the dog in another home, transfer the dog to rescue, or place the dog in a sanctuary.

(b) A person who refuses to forfeit a dog under this Section is a violation which carries a public safety fine of $500 for each dog to be deposited into the Pet Population Control Fund. Each day a person fails to comply with forfeiture or prohibition ordered under this Section shall constitute a separate offense.

Humane Care for Animals Act

510 ILCS 70/3.01 – Cruelty (new section)

(c-10) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a law enforcement officer from taking temporary custody of a dog or cat that is a companion animal that is exposed in a manner that places the dog or cat in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold conditions that may result in injury or death of the dog or cat or may result in hypothermia, hyperthermia, frostbite, or similar condition. Upon taking temporary custody of the dog or cat under this subsection (c-10), the law enforcement officer shall attempt to contact the owner of the dog or cat and shall seek emergency veterinary care for the animal as soon as available. The law enforcement officer shall leave information of the location of the dog or cat if the owner cannot be reached. The owner of the dog or cat is responsible for any costs of providing care to the dog or cat.

Animal Welfare Act

225 ILCS 605/2 – Foster Home

Sec. 2. Definitions.

“Foster home” means an entity that accepts the responsibility for stewardship of animals that are the obligation of an animal shelter or animal control facility, not to exceed 4 animals at any given time. Permits to operate as a “foster home” shall be issued through the animal shelter or animal control facility.

225 ILCS 605/3.4 – Transfer between shelters.

Sec. 3.4. Transfer of animals between shelters. An animal shelter or animal control facility may not release any animal to an individual representing an animal shelter or animal control facility, unless (1) the recipient animal shelter or animal control facility has been licensed or has a foster care permit issued by the Department or (2) the individual is a representative of a not-for-profit, out-of-State organization

or out-of-State animal control facility or animal shelter who is transferring the animal out of the State of Illinois.

225 ILCS 605/3.6 – Acceptance of stray dogs and cats

Sec. 3.6 (c) If no transfer can occur, the animal shelter shall make every reasonable attempt to contact the owner, agent, or caretaker as soon as possible. The animal shelter shall give notice of not less than 7 business days to the owner, agent, or caretaker prior to disposal of the animal. The notice shall be mailed to the last known address of the owner, agent, or caretaker. Testimony of the animal shelter, or its authorized agent, who mails the notice shall be evidence of the receipt of the notice by the owner, agent, or caretaker of the animal. A mailed notice shall remain the primary means of owner, agent, or caretaker contact; however, the animal shelter shall also attempt to contact the owner, agent, or caretaker by any other contact information, such as by telephone or email address, provided by the microchip or other method of identification found on the dog or cat. If the dog or cat has been microchipped and the primary contact listed by the chip manufacturer cannot be located or refuses to reclaim the dog or cat, an attempt shall be made to contact any secondary contacts listed by the chip manufacturer or the purchaser of the microchip if the purchaser is a nonprofit organization, animal shelter, animal control facility, pet store, breeder, or veterinary office prior to adoption, transfer, or euthanization. Prior to transferring any stray dog or cat to another humane shelter, pet store, rescue group, or euthanization, the dog or cat shall be scanned again for the presence of a microchip and examined for other means of identification. If a second scan provides the same identifying information as the initial intake scan and the owner, agent, or caretaker has not been located or refuses to reclaim the dog or cat, the animal shelter may proceed with adoption, transfer, or euthanization.

225 ILCS 605/7 – Applications for renewal licenses.

Sec. 7. Applications for renewal licenses shall be made to the Department in a manner , shall be in writing on forms prescribed by the Department, shall contain such information as will enable the Department to determine if the applicant is qualified to continue to hold a license, shall report beginning inventory and intake and outcome statistics from the previous calendar year, and shall be accompanied by the required fee, which shall not be returnable. The report of intake and outcome statistics shall include the following:

(1) The total number of dogs, cats, and other animals, divided into species, taken in by the animal shelter or animal control facility, in the following categories:

(A) surrendered by owner;

(B) stray;

(C) impounded other than stray;

(D) confiscated under the Humane Care for Animals Act;

(E) transfer from other licensees within the State;

(F) transferred into or imported from out of the State;

(G) transferred into or imported from outside the country; and

(H) born in shelter or animal control facility.

(2) The disposition of all dogs, cats, and other animals taken in by the animal shelter or animal control facility, divided into species. This data must include dispositions by:

(A) reclamation by owner;

(B) adopted or sold;

(C) euthanized;

(D) euthanized per request of the owner;

(E) died in custody;

(F) transferred to another licensee;

(G) transferred to an out-of-State nonprofit agency;

(H) animals missing, stolen, or escaped;

(I) animals released in field; trapped, neutered,  released; and

(J) ending inventory; shelter count at end of the last day of the year.

The Department shall not be required to audit or validate the intake and outcome statistics required to be submitted under this Section.

225 ILCS 605/7.1 – Department Reporting new

Sec. 7.1. Department reporting. The Department shall post on its website the name of each licensed animal control facility or animal shelter and all the reported intake and outcome statistics required under paragraphs (1) and (2) of Section 7 of this Act by December 31, 2020 and by December 31 of each year thereafter.

Enter a Witness Slip – It’s Easy!

  1. Go to www.ilga.gov.
  2. Enter your bill number to determine which committee it has been assigned.
  3. Go back to Home page and click on GA Dashboard and follow these steps.file_witness_slip