Governor Rauner recently signed new statutes into law, amending the Illinois Animal Control Act.

The new additions, effective at the end of last month, include:

  • An owner or caretaker of a biting animal is now required to have the animal examined by a licensed veterinarian within 24 hours.
  • At the end of the confinement period, if a dog or cat is not already microchipped and current with rabies vaccination, it must be done at the expense of the owner.
  • Failing to cooperate with County Animal Services regarding a bite and concealing the whereabouts or disposing of an animal that has bitten a person are both criminal offenses.
    • First such violation is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, subsequent violations up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Winnebago County Animal Services is promoting responsible pet ownership by advising the public of these additions to the state law regarding animal bites.