New IL Animal Fighting Law

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed H.B. 5790 into law. "There is never a reason to torture an animal, especially for entertainment or monetary gain," said Governor Quinn. "This new law will further deter people from getting involved with dog fighting and hastily injuring or killing innocent animals, especially where children are present."

Under the new law, the penalty for a person found guilty of bringing a child under 13 years to a dog fighting show or related activity will be a Class 3 felony for the first violation and a Class 2 felony for subsequent violations. Anyone found guilty of holding a dog fighting show within 1,000 feet of a school, public park, playground, or other facility that provides programs or services to children under 18 years old will now be punished with a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a subsequent violation.

The new law also increases the penalty for anyone found guilty of tying or attaching a live animal to a propel-powered machine or device with the intention that the animal will be pursued by one or more dogs. The law makes this offense punishable with a Class 4 felony for a first violation and a Class 3 felony for subsequent violations, and may be fined up to $50,000.