Legislation proposed by three third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law. Governor Pat Quinn signed the measure increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills.
It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Representative David Harris and Senator Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment.
But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O’Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris.