Illinois law will punish pet owners who leave animals out in extreme temps

(Credit: Georgiy Shpade)
(Credit: Georgiy Shpade)

SPRINGFIELD — Beginning January 1, 2016, it will be against the law to leave pets outside in extreme temperatures in Illinois.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation which makes it against the law to leave pets in hot and cold weather that will cause them injury or death.

If a pet is hurt or dies as a result of being left in extreme weather, a pet owner can now be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2500 fine or up to one year in jail if they are found guilty.

The law was written in response several dogs dying due to being left outside in subzero temperatures last winter. The law applies to both hot and cold temperatures.

Extreme temperatures create life-threatening situations for dogs and cats. A bowl of water and some shade isn’t enough to protect your pup from blistering heat for hours on end. Likewise, their fur is no match for bitter subzero temperatures.