Illinois state Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield)
Illinois state Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) is pushing a bill that would stiffen the penalties for those charged with killing or abusing a pet.
"Illinois law treats a criminal who abuses and kills someone’s pet the same as someone who commits a second retail theft,” McClure told the West Central Reporter. "If someone walks into a public bar and slaps another person without their permission, it is the same level of crime as when someone takes another’s pet, violently tortures it for hours, and then kills it."
In cases that lead to the death of the animal, Senate Bill 2995 would upgrade such offenses to Class 2 felonies, with a subsequent offense paving the way for the offender to face an even graver Class 1 charge. Currently, all aggravated abuse of a companion animal or pet charges are classified as Class 4 felonies.
McClure says cases of such abuse are on the rise, prompting him to act now in filing legislation. The bill does not include cases of self-defense.
“When I was an assistant state's attorney, I prosecuted several terrible animal abuse cases,” McClure said. “I hope this bill sends the message if you murder a pet you will face real consequences. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bipartisan legislation into law.”
Still in his first-term in Springfield, McClure’s 50th District includes all of Calhoun, Greene, Morgan, Pike and Scott counties as well as portions of Macoupin, Madison, Jersey and Sangamon counties. He currently serves on the Republican House Agriculture, Criminal Law, Energy and Public Utilities, Higher Education, Local Government, Public Health, State Government, Supplier Diversity, Pension Investments, Subcommittee on Prisons and Public Safety committees.