Heartland pet owners react to IL proposal on outdoor pets in ext - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland pet owners react to IL proposal on outdoor pets in extreme weather

(KFVS) -

A proposal in Illinois could send you to jail for leaving your pets out in the summer heat.

We all know pets like to run and play in the yard or at the park, but some pet owners say too much outside time is a bad thing, and some lawmakers agree.

Legislation is now awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature that would make leaving pets outside in extreme hot or cold weather punishable with jail time and fines.

The Illinois House approved the measure on Tuesday and the Senate passed it last month.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to expose cats and dogs to extreme temperatures. Offenders could face up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.

We talked to pet owners on Wednesday. Some think the measure goes too far, saying their outside pets are well-protected in the summer with shade and plenty of water and in winter with heat lamps and insulated dog houses.

Others say the new law would be a good thing; protecting pets from harmful conditions.

Pet owner Kristi Hall said her pets stay inside all year round.

She said when the dogs do have to go outside, she goes with them for just a little while and then brings them right back inside. On hot days, she said she even gives them ice water to drink.

While the specifics of the measure are still unclear, opponents are concerned about the potential impact on livestock farmers.

On a side note, a recent Gallop poll finds that nearly one-third of Americans believe animals should have the same rights as people. That's up from 25 percent in 2008.

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