Posted: Wednesday, 12 August 2009 9:50AM
CHICAGO (STNG) -- A new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this week prohibits convicted dog fighters from owning unsterilized or vicious dogs, making it more difficult for offenders to return to the illegal activity once they have served their time.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, the law is the first of its kind in the United States. It amends the State of Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 to make it a misdemeanor for a convicted dog fighter to own unsterilized dogs or dogs that have been deemed vicious by a court. This includes any unspayed or unneutered dog or puppy older than 12-weeks-old, or irrespective of whether the dog has been spayed or neutered, any dog that has been determined to be a vicious dog under Section 15 of the Animal Control Act.
“This will give law enforcement more tools to crack down on people who fight dogs,” Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative analyst for Best Friends said. “It will also have the effect of helping lessen the likelihood that convicted dog fighters, once they are released from prison, go back into the breeding business.”
Best Friends Animal Society took in 22 of the fighting dogs rescued from the home of pro football player Michael Vick in 2007. The group worked with bill sponsors State Sen. William R. Haine (D-Alton) and State Rep. Mike Boland (D-East Moline) to get it to the governor’s desk, according to a release from Best Friends.
The Utah-based organization also helped draft and spearhead passage of another measure on Gov. Quinn’s desk—a cross-reporting bill that mandates that animal control workers report all cases of child abuse to the state, and for DCFS to report all cases of animal abuse.
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