New Dogfighting Measure Has Teeth!
Following Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s dogfighting bust at a day care center last fall, the Sheriff appeared on my WLS-AM radio show.
I suggested as horrific as dogfighting is – it’s even worse when kids are involved….and worse yet that this bust happened at a day care center, of all places. I suggested on-the-air that somehow there should be an increased felony penalty if dogfighters are active near a day care center, school, playground or children’s play area. Dart’s answer, “Let’s do it!”
Dart and I knew just who to contact, the women with a magic legal bite – Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney at Best Friends Animal Society. Ledy (with Lauren Gallagher) wrote the legislation. Illinois Rep. Karen Yarborough and Sen. Kimberly Lightford sponsored the measure, H.B. 5790 – the first of its kind in America!
Tomorrow, July 17, the signing with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will take place at noon at the Maywood Market, 615 South 5th Avenue, Maywood, the home area of the bill’s principal sponsor, Rep. Yarbrough (D-Maywood). I am among those scheduled to speak.
If you missed it, check out the original interview with Dart on WLS where he and we came up with the idea.
Most of all, Quinn is leading the way here – because of Sheriff Tom Dart – and we will be the first state in America to do have this bill with a bite.
It’s bad enough when kids come to dog fights because bad guys coerce them, or because they want to – it’s worse when the kids are just there in a playground or day care center and there it is, they witness the horror of dogfighting (and always other crimes that go along with it)….We know then become desensitized to violence. And as American Humane’s sponsored research discovered years ago, there is a link, violence to animals follows with violence to people. This bill, H.B 5790 – is one step to change that cycle.