Rockford, IL asked in Criminal Law for Illinois

Q: Is it illegal to shoot your own dog whether they are sick or not?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joel Raphael Zand
Joel Raphael Zand
  • Mountain View, CA

A: It is a felony crime to shoot and kill your own dog in Illinois. A person who does this can be convicted of aggravated cruelty (510 ILCS 79/3.2) and may also face criminal charges for animal torture under Illinois state law (510 ILCS 70/3.03). A person convicted of such crimes may be ordered by a court to undergo a psychological or psychiatric evaluation, and get treatment, at their own expense.

Even if a person's dog is sick, this is NOT a legal basis to shoot it in Illinois.

It is also a morally repugnant, and despicable way to treat a dog. Studies have found strong links between people who abuse animals and their tendency to engage in domestic violence against adults and children.

You should contact a local veterinarian or your county's local animal services or adoption agency for appropriate, non-violent help.

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