Illinois Bureau of Animal Welfare case overload

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:

CHICAGO–“Between 2000 and 2005, Illinois residents filed
3,282 complaints about animal welfare licensees to the state
Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Welfare,” wrote Chicago
Tribune staff reporter John Biemer on February 14, citing
information obtained by activist Cherie Travis. The Bureau of Animal
Welfare supervises pet stores, shelters, pounds, and breeding and
boarding kennels.
“Just three of the 3,282 cases resulted in hearings,” Biemer
continued, “and each time those actions were deemed unwarranted.
Further,” Biemer noted, “Illinois has just seven investigators to
check into complaints and make annual visits to the premises of 1,809
licensees.”
Said American SPCA representive Ledy VanKavage, “There’s no
way in hell that just seven people can deal with that kind of
caseload.”
Added Biemer, “When they find a licensee is not complying
with state law, they have only two punitive options: they can
either revoke or suspend the license. Those actions create a big
problem: what do you do with the animals?”
A bill introduced by state representative Patti Bellock
(R-Hinsdale) would enable the Bureau of Animal Welfare to levy fines
ranging from $200 to $1,000 for violations not deemed severe enough
to warrant license revocation or suspension.

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