Help Protect Children and Companion Animals RIGHT NOW

Update: 

The legislature is currently in recess.  No action is needed at this time.

Date: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Help Protect Children and Companion Animals RIGHT AWAY - Photo by MarianneDear Illinois Humanitarian,

The Illinois House of Representatives could soon vote on HB 3768, a bill to increase the penalty for animal cruelty committed in front of a child. We need your help to ensure that the House will pass this bill and send it on to the Senate for action.

Illinois has the distinction of being the top state in the country when it comes to strong animal welfare laws, and H.R. 3768, sponsored by Rep. Daniel J. Burke, would strengthen even further 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 lead to severe emotional and developmental difficulties, antisocial behaviors, poor social and cognitive competence, poor health, and negative encounters with the juvenile justice system.

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 him/herself, with that serving as a precursor to other forms of interpersonal violence.

HB 3768 amends the Humane Care for Animals Act to add abuse of a companion animal committed in front of a minor to the definition of "aggravated cruelty," which is subject to higher penalties. A minor is defined as someone younger than 18.

What You Can Do:
Please call your state representative and ask him/her to VOTE YES on HB 3768 when it comes to the House floor. Explain that individuals who abuse companion animals in front of children deserve stiffer penalties. If no one answers, please leave a short, polite message. To find your representative's phone number in Springfield (don't call the district office unless there is no other number), click here. Enter your address and click "Go"; then scroll down to find your state representative.

Next, please follow-up with an email, which you can send via the Compassion Index. Once you click though to the Compassion Index and enter your address, you will find language to include in your email.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of animals. And be sure to share this alert with your friends and family in Illinois.

Sincerely,

Cathy Liss
President

P.S. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the action above and other important animal protection news.