The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) applauds Governor Ryan for enacting HB 5625 which makes recording acts of cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty, animal torture, cockfighting and dog fighting a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
The law was spearheaded by the ASPCA as a result of a cat torturing case in December 2001. Two Cahokia, Illinois youths tied a cat to a tree and threw firecrackers at the helpless animal while they videotaped their cruel acts. They then sold the tapes to classmates for $6 a tape. The two were apprehended by the Cahokia police department and charged with animal cruelty. Unfortunately, the judges in St. Clair County did not take their acts of cruelty seriously and the juveniles received a slap on the wrist – a $100 fine and 6 months court supervision.
By signing HB 5625 into law, the court must order psychological counseling for all juveniles convicted of this violation.
"We're extremely pleased that police officers now have more tools to crack down on animal abusers. People should not attempt to profit from acts of cruelty. Many juveniles who abuse animals grow up to be violent offenders so mandatory psychological counseling for them is extremely important before their crimes escalate." stated Ledy VanKavage, Esq., Director of Midwest State and Government Affairs for the ASPCA.
Metro East Senator Evelyn Bowles, Rep. Tom Holbrook, Rep. Dan Reitz, and Rep. Ron Stephens sponsored the bill. The drive to pass the bill was spearheaded by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
The ASPCA hopes to work with other legislatures to get similar bills passed in the other 49 states.
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