Under Illinois law, people are held accountable for their behavior toward animals, including companion animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, rats, and so on. People who mistreat animals are subject to legal punishments, including those who are cruel to animals. If you have been accused of animal abuse, you need an excellent Arlington Heights and Chicago criminal defense attorney on your side to fight the charges.
To speak to us about your case, call us at (847) 791-2294.
If you own an animal or companion animal, you have specific tasks you must perform toward or for your pets. These duties include providing the following:
- Sufficient quantity of good quality, wholesome food and water
- Adequate shelter and protection from weather
- Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering
- Humane treatment and care
Failing to do so could result in a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by 180 days in jail and/ or fines of up to $1,500. Subsequent violations would be considered Class 4 felony, with every day that is a violation of this law considered a separate offense. Additionally, the court may order the convicted person to undergo psychological or psychiatric evaluation and participate in any treatment at the individual's expense.
Likewise, if you tie up your animal outside, you must not do so knowing that an animal suffers from a condition worsened by getting tied up, you must prevent the possibility of the animal becoming entangled with another tied up animal, and you must use a particular kind of tether. For example, the tether should not be more than 1/8 of the animal's body weight and should not be a tow or log chain.
Likewise, the lead should be at least 10 feet in length and be attached to a properly fitted harness or collar. Pinch, prong, or choke collars are not allowed in tethering. If you tether your animal, make sure that it cannot reach the property of another person, a walkway, or a road. A violation of this law is a Class B misdemeanor.
Animal torture is defined as when a person, without legal justification, knowingly tortures an animal. “Torture” includes infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain intended to increase or prolong the suffering, agony, and pain of the animal. If anyone is caught violating this law, he or she might be convicted of a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison. Extended Class 3 felony convictions can be 5 to 10 years in prison.
Aggravated cruelty includes committing an act that causes a companion animal to suffer serious injury or death. However, it does not include euthanasia of an animal through methods recognized by the Department of Agriculture. A person who violates this law is guilty of a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison or 3 to 6 years in prison for an extended term.
Contact Us About Your Case
If you have been accused of animal abuse, make sure you have a skilled lawyer on your side. Our attorneys at Ahmad Law Firm are highly rated and have many years of experience representing people accused of crimes. We are proud to provide excellent assistance to our clients and will aggressively pursue the best possible resolution for your case.