You've been heard in Springfield. All the calls, emails and social media posts hit the right people and for now Illinois SB648 - the bill that would have changed how many non-profit rescues in Illinois operate and could have overloaded animal controls even more - has been tabled. For the time being, rescue as we know it will continue, but don't rest too long just in case Illinois SB648 is reintroduced later this year.
Under Illinois SB648, the non-profit rescues that currently have been taking a lot of pressure off overcrowded animal controls would have had to turn strays into animal controls within 24 hours or faced a fine. A move that would have flooded animal controls and put even more cats and dogs on borrowed time. It also could have had a negative impact on the many TNR programs that have made a huge dent in the cat over-population problem in the Chicago-area.
Yesterday, Representative Sara Feigenholtz, who has been a long time supporter of animal welfare and rescue laws, connected with the house sponsor of the senate measure (Illinois SB648 was sponsored by Senator Andy Manar, a downstate Republican). House sponsor Wayne Rosenthaul agreed to table the matter for this season. It may be reworked after this session ends. That's why I'm asking everyone to stay tuned and keep their eyes pealed. Tabled isn't over...it's just off the floor for now.
Along with my blog - Proposed Illinois animal control bill could be deadly for cats and dogs - Best Friends to Humane Society and Alley Cat Allies - the nation's largest feral cat organization - both launched petition drives and went to bat for pets in Illinois battling Illinois SB648. In the meantime, it's kitten season and moving season and animal control is bursting at the seems. So, it's time for now to focus on rescuing, rehoming and keeping pets with their current families.
Read this article on a Chicago group - Six Legs Foundation - working to keep pets and families together.
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