Gov, Quinn Supports Dogs & Police; Illinois is Most Humane State in America

Gov, Quinn Supports Dogs & Police; Illinois is Most Humane State in America
Image taken a few years ago as I was with the Governor to sign a bill for enhanced penalties if dog fighters are convicted near a children's play area, school or daycare center - which was my idea.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn   signed into law a bill l to mandate training so law enforcement can better understand canine signaling or what the intent of a dog may be; Listen HERE - as the Governor signed the bill LIVE on Steve Dale's Pet World on WGN Radio.

In part, what motivated the bill was an incident in Chicago last December when Al and Barbara Phillips Miniature Bull Terrier was shot by a police officer for no apparently. Ledy VanKavage, senior  legislative analyst at Best Friends Animal Society enlightened me; I had no idea how often this police shoot and ask questions later occurs nationwide. Having said that, police have a very challenging job, making split second decisions. While the instance in Chicago, shooting the Miniature Bull Terrier, was downright odd - sometimes the choices aren't easy. I like this bill because it's about adding education rather than removing police the ability to use their best judgement. I cheer this move by Gov. Quinn, who continues to make Illinois the most humane state in America.

Here's the press release:

CHICAGO –Governor Quinn today signed a new law that provides for a training program in animal fighting awareness and humane response for law enforcement officers. The new law is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect pets and ensure that all animals in Illinois are treated ethically and responsibly.

“There is no place in Illinois for animal fighting and this new law will create awareness and help law officers deal with this kind of cruel behavior,” Governor Quinn said. “We also need to crack down on the mistreatment of animals in Illinois and this law will make sure our officers know the best way to respond to animals while out on the streets.”

House Bill 3388 adds language to the Illinois Police Training Act and includes a training program in animal fighting awareness. The bill provides that within the program there must be training dealing with humane responses to animal abuse, identifying animal fighting operations, and nonlethal ways to subdue canines.

Training will help create awareness and make it easier to see potential signs of dog-fighting in order to identify and break up dog-fighting rings.  Since these animals are bred to fight, they become extremely aggressive and a threat to the public. This legislation would help make it easier for officers to protect the public and themselves.  It also trains the officers in ways to subdue aggressive and abused animals in a nonlethal manner.

Today’s bill signing took place live on Steve Dale’s Pet Worldradio show on WGN radio.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2014.

This release is from Cook Country Sheriff Tom Dart:

"I am pleased to see the Animal Fighting Awareness bill - the first legislation of its kind in the nation - become law today. Any time a police officer is forced to enter a home uninvited, it represents an unpredictable and potentially stressful situation - even more so when animals enter the equation. Providing these law enforcement guidelines will allow our officers to perform their tasks at hand while ensuring that animals within the home are treated in a humane and non-lethal manner. Averting accidental animal fatalities will ensure fiscal prudence by reducing the pricey legal settlements that have beset municipalities across the country - including Chicago. This law also provides officers across the state with the tools to help detect and crack down on dog fighting operations, which continue to plague our communities."


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  • Apparently Quinn longs for publicity on bills on marginal issues,while the legislature dawdles away on things that make a difference, like the pension mess, which will leave the state too bankrupt to enforce any of this. Then he goes on The Score to laud some bill mandating that schools buy insurance for athletes without funding schools. I think that the media should quit playing along with these bill signing ceremonies. A cop who is going to shoot a dog will do so, regardless of any training or civil liability. Some police officers don't treat humans so well, either.

  • Where people are 'humane' they are less violent. This is proven true....and where animals are abused there is more violence. Lessening violence to people or animals isn't marginal. Concerning the Illinois budget issue - Quinn is the one person (well, there are others - but among the three major players) actually trying to get this budget thing done. He publicly says so. And has taken action....others respond by getting angry at Quinn. Madigan, likeable, honest? I'm not so sure. It's about - can you say Power? We yearn for public officials with integrity. Now, that we have one, some complain....Those that do, are not average citizens, they are people mired in politics (which I suspect you may be).

    As for police officers receiving training - you are wrong my friend...according to my sources - police officers themselves - who welcome this training....For many reasons. For starters, their own safety. And read what Sheriff Tom Dart said to applaud this. bill. But moreover, statistically many officers have dogs, just as we all do - and they want to do the right thing.

  • In reply to Steve Dale:

    1. I suppose Dart could give the training without a legislative mandate to do so.

    2. I don't want to get too much into politics here, but Quinn doesn't have much integrity with his Quinn pro Quo appointments such as Careen Gordon and more recently Zuccarelli to the CTA board, violating the statute in several ways. And besides not proposing a pension bill, but basically saying he would go along with anything or getting an opinion that something would be constitutional, the veto on the legislators' pay looks like it will be overriden.

    3. I'm surprised that the release didn't refer to "Bowser's Law." But this is just another instance of using the press for feel good legislation. It probably makes about as much difference with regard to animal welfare as Joe Moore siccing the health department on foie gras.

  • Of course, you must know the foie gras issue has nothing to do with this. Also, again - police, who I know (admittedly not a scientific poll) think this training will be beneficial. Also, animal welfare organizations (most notably Best Friends) pushed for this. And they did so for a reason.

    About the CTA, etc. I understand what you are saying....Still to me, politics is required on any politician. . . But some do want to do the right thing....and I believe that is true of Quinn. It's always been the case.

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    I hope that Smokey from El Dorado, Illinois also had a part in motivating this bill. Unlike Colonel Phillips, Smokey did not survive being shot (while tied in his own back yard) by a police officer (who was not even at the correct house).

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