Monday 3 September 2018

Illinois state law allows law enforcement to take custody of cat exposed to life-threatening cold or heat

Frostbitten cat.

This is an interesting law. The Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 states that the Humane Care for Animals Act has been amended to make provision for a law enforcement officer to take temporary custody of a cat or dog exposed to heat or cold which places the animal's life at risk or which can cause injury through hyperthermia, frostbite or hypothermia. I can think of one situation where heat could kill a cat: in the back of a car with the windows closed on a warm or hot day. This would allow an officer to break the window and rescue the cat it seems.

If a cat or dog is in the custody of law enforcement under these circumstances the officer has an obligation to attempt to contact the owner and seek emergency veterinary care.

Comment: This is the first time I have seen such an animal welfare law. Stories of cats suffering in extreme weather are not infrequently encountered on the internet so this law is useful I'd say. Frostbite in cats is not that rare. It's the ear flaps that get it. You'll see cats with no ears as they have been amputated - see partial amputation of the cat's ears above.

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