Illinois: Help Protect Children and Companion Animals
No action needed at this time.
The Executive Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 3231, which provides for additional penalties when animal cruelty is committed in front of a child. This will help law enforcement better protect both children and companion animals.
Dear Illinois Humanitarian,
We just learned that tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, the Executive Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives will consider HB 3231, a bill to provide enhanced penalties for animal cruelty committed in front of a child. Your representative is a member of this important committee and we need your help to ensure that the committee reports the bill favorably and sends it to the floor for a vote.
Illinois has the distinction of being the top state in the country when it comes to strong animal welfare laws, and HB 3231, sponsored by Rep. Daniel J. Burke, would further strengthen the state's ability to keep pets and people safe.
Witnessing animal cruelty is a form of trauma, and trauma can cause serious long-term problems for children. Such trauma can negatively affect a child's health and physical and cognitive development. Abusers force children to witness or engage in animal cruelty to exert control over and instill fear in them ("See. This is what I can do to you."), as well as in other members of the family. Such experiences can lead to the child becoming an animal abuser, with that serving as a precursor to other forms of violent behavior.
HB 3231 amends the Humane Care for Animals Act to provide for additional penalties for abuse of a companion animal committed in front of a minor. A minor is defined as someone younger than 18 years of age.