Don’t Prohibit Rescue Facilities from Accepting Stray Animals


Target: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, Illinois

Goal: Don’t require rescue facilities to transfer stray animals to government-run shelters, where they are more likely to be euthanized

A new bill that would increase the number of animals dying in government-run shelters and abuse situations has been proposed in Illinois. Too many healthy, adoptable animals are already being euthanized every day due to overcrowding at these shelters, and this law would increase that number by preventing rescues from saving strays. Humane investigations would also be hindered, resulting in many animals enduring abuse longer than necessary, or not surviving the situation at all. Urge state representatives to oppose the bill and prevent it from becoming law.

Senate Bill 648 would prohibit rescues from taking in stray dogs and cats unless they came directly from animal control. Rescue workers would be forced to transfer all strays to government-run shelters. If passed into law, this bill would result in great increases in the number of animals entering shelters and needlessly dying there. Many shelters don’t even have adoption programs, meaning the healthy, adoptable strays there would face certain death. In addition, taxpayers would be paying more to house the extra animals and euthanize them.

The bill would also hinder humane investigators by requiring them to notify local law enforcement or animal control before they could respond to reports of cruelty. This would drag out the process of an investigation, making it even more difficult to remove the animal from the situation. The animal would be forced to endure abuse while humane organizations helplessly stood by. Some animals may not even survive long enough for government agencies to respond. If the bill passes, many rescues would be forced to stop sponsoring investigators altogether, placing an extra burden on law enforcement.

Senate Bill 648 would prevent private shelters and rescues from doing what they were created for: saving the lives of animals. Prohibiting rescues from taking in strays is a waste of tax dollars and a great injustice to the countless animals who rely on them. Jeopardizing humane investigations is another cruel aspect of the bill that would also unnecessarily burden law enforcement. Urge state representatives to oppose the bill and prevent it from being passed into law.


Dear Michael J. Madigan,

Senate Bill 648 would prevent animal rescues from doing what they were created for: saving the lives of animals. The bill would increase the number of animals dying in municipal shelters and abuse situations, and place an added burden on law enforcement. Not only are these provisions an injustice to the animals and the organizations who are able and willing to save them, they are also a waste of tax dollars.

Too many healthy, adoptable animals are already being euthanized every day due to overcrowding at shelters, and this bill would only increase that number by prohibiting rescues from taking in strays unless they came directly from animal control. In addition, the process of abuse and neglect investigations would be dragged out, placing an unnecessary burden on law enforcement and forcing animals to continue to endure the pain and suffering of abuse while humane organizations stood by helplessly. Some of these animals may not even survive long enough to make it out of their situation.

I urge you to do the right thing for the animals and the organizations who were created to save them and oppose Senate Bill 648.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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  1. paula eaton says:

    The government agencies have proven over and over that they do not have animals best interest at heart.

  2. Linda Bennett says:

    This bill is both cruel and counterproductive. Puppy mills and illegal breeders create the largest part of the problem on the dog side, so why doesn’t the department of Ag channel funds and efforts into preventing the problem rather than putting the poor resulting animals at greater risk? Same for the community cat issue – Indiana communities have actually CUT COSTS by training animal control officers in Trap-Neuter-Return efforts rather than the current capture-kill methods. As for this bill? While on paper it may sound like it makes sense to channel all animals into AC to make the paperwork easier, I’m not sure you all understand how valuable a piece of this puzzle we rescue groups are. We provide care, housing, medical attention, and get animals spayed and vaccinated on our own time and at our own expense. To handle all the animals we do, Animal Control would actually have to spend more time and money if animals come to them first if compassionate care is the real issue, or mass-euthanize animals if this is a a thinly veiled cost-cutting attempt, which would be disgusting. Keep in mind we animal rescue volunteers do this for the love of these poor animals, and we are fiercly protective of them and of our rights to save them. You will continue to be innundated with calls and emails from our comminuty, and many rescue groups are already taking this to the mass media. Once the general public sees how sad and sick it is to prevent compentent, willing volunteers from helping animals at risk you will have a political s-storm on your hands. We are not fringe people – we are teachers, doctors, lawyers, mothers, and business people, and we all know people who love animals and VOTE. We will encourage anyone and everyone we know to cast those votes for people who show compassion and well as reason, so I would urge you to discuss this carefully with your constituents and make sure you are acting in the tax payers and voters best interests.

    Regards,Linda Bennett (high school science teacher, Naperville Central high school and adjunct college professor at College of DuPage.)

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