Pet owners reminded of new Illinois law regarding extreme weather

ILLINOIS — With frigid temperatures in the forecast this weekend, it’s important to note a new Illinois law making it against the law to leave pets outside in extreme weather.

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

If a pet is hurt or dies as result of being left in extreme weather, a pet owner can now be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,500 fine or up to one year in jail if they are found guilty.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, said the law is a response to the high number of dog deaths last winter after dogs were left outside in subzero temperatures.

It is hoped that the law will lead to fewer pets dying and becoming injured and help raise awareness about animal welfare issues.

The new law took effect on January 1.