Rep. David S. Olsen Champions Animal Welfare Bills as Part of Comprehensive 2018 Legislative Agenda

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is championing two bills this year that address animal cruelty and abuse. HB 4191 and SB 2280 are part of a comprehensive 2018 legislative agenda that also includes initiatives to improve government transparency, protect taxpayers and improve the Illinois business climate.

HB 4191, filed in mid-December, would provide criminal immunity to Good Samaritans who damage a vehicle in an effort to rescue a dog or cat that is believed to be in imminent danger due to extreme heat or cold. The provisions would apply only if the individual had made efforts to contact emergency responders prior to taking action to forcibly remove the pet from the vehicle. “Good Samaritan laws have long been used to provide immunity to those who step in to assist another human being during an emergency, and this legislation simply extends similar protections to individuals who assist animals locked in cars during extreme weather,” said Olsen. “It is an initiative that was brought to me by the Animal Control Division of DuPage County.”

Olsen will also serve as the Chief House Sponsor this year of SB 2280, a measure that would ban the retail sale of animals obtained from commercial breeders in DuPage and Will Counties.

“Breeding animals on a mass scale for retail sale with no regard for the health and welfare of the animals is cruel,” said Olsen. “SB 2280 would improve animal welfare standards, encourage more pet adoptions and responsible breeding practices, and protect consumers, who today are largely unaware of the inhumane treatment many animals are subjected to before they are sold.”

SB 2280 is the product of collaboration by leaders in DuPage and Will Counties, the Humane Society of the United States, the Puppy Mill Project and several other local animal advocacy groups, and would bring state laws regulating the retail sale of animals obtained from commercial breeders in line with similar laws already in place in Chicago and Cook County.

Olsen is working with State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) on both bills. Senator Connelly will carry Olsen’s HB 4191 in the Senate, while Olsen will carry Connelly’s SB 2280 in the House. Both bills are awaiting assignment to substantive committees.

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