Bill Would Protect Pets At Some Low-Income Housing Developments

Jim Gudas
February 26, 2020 - 8:24 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A state lawmaker from the western suburbs wants to make it easier for people in low-income housing to have a dog or cat.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes of Aurora introduced a bill that would allow any tenant living in housing acquired, constructed or rehabilitated with state funds for low-income housing to keep a pet dog or cat, regardless of its size, weight or breed.

Holmes says some restrictions in public housing can prevent a family from keeping a pet, and that results in animals being surrendered to animal shelters that already are burdened.

“A leading reason pets end up surrendered to shelters is housing issues that force some pet owners into a position of choosing between keeping their pet or keeping a roof over their head,” Holmes said. “Pets are part of our families, regardless of the family’s income level.”

“There is a shortage of affordable housing for families in Illinois, and that is exacerbated for pet-owning families,” Holmes added. “On the animals’ side, in shelters they may be adopted, or they may be destroyed. And there is an emotional toll on a family if they have to give up their beloved cat or dog. With this legislation I’m seeking a way to address both sides of this situation and keep pets with their families and out of shelters."