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Proposed Bill to Assist Shelter Animals Tabled in Illinois, The Back Story


Illinois SB0648,  sponsored by public officials State Senator Andy Manar  (48th district) and House sponsor Wayne Rosenthal (95th District) wouldn’t have benefited animals, despite both public officials’ hearts being in the right place. Listen HERE as Rosenthal explains – or tries to explain – how my conversation and also one with Illinois State  Sara Feigenholtz  (12th district) helped him to see the light. Rosenthal and Feighholtz are guests on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio.

A neighbor of Senator Manar had a neighbor with an older dog that disappeared. The dog was discovered a county away with a rescue/shelter that raised money for the dog online. The rescue/shelter maintained the dog allegedly needed money for medical care (which the dog likely never needed). And the rescue/shelter at first refused to return the dog; it took lots of effort and nearly a month for the dog to be returned to the rightful owners.

Rosenthal explains the intent of the bill was to reunite pets with families. No argument with that. However, the way it was written was filled with unintended consequences, which animal welfare organizations around the state and Feigenholtz quickly recognized.

Feigenholtz says the bill would have unraveled the systems in place which legitimate rescues and shelters quickly relieve municipal animal control facilities, and would have impacted trap, neuter and return for community cats. No matter, Manar – who has a long history of helping animals, and Rosenthal agreed to table the bill. Feigenholtz offers additional background and describes what might be done down the road without unintended consequences.


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