There are several felony crimes that are likely known by most people throughout Illinois. Rape, murder, burglary, robbery, and drug crimes are all reported regularly in the news throughout the country, and are well-known to many people. Aside from these high-profile felony crimes, there are other felony crimes that are perhaps lesser-known, but all the same seriously prosecuted. Some of those crimes relate to cruelty and abuse of animals.
A Chicago man was arrested this week on felony charges of animal torture and aggravated cruelty to animals, the Chicago Tribune reports. 29-year-old Andres F. Duran, who lives in Prospect Park, allegedly killed his sister’s German Shepherd by stabbing it several times with a knife.
The Examiner reports that Mr. Duran stated that he had lost control and just started stabbing the dog in the side. The dog did not die fast enough for Mr. Duran’s liking, so he stabbed the dog in the neck. After the dog died, Mr. Duran wrapped him in a blanket and put him in a suitcase in the yard. When Mr. Duran’s brother-in-law returned to the home, Mr. Duran locked himself in the house with the knife. He later fled the house and turned himself in to authorities.
Illinois laws regarding crimes against animals are found in the Humane Care for Animals Act. Under the Act, a person commits aggravated animal cruelty when he or she intentionally commits some kind of act that causes a companion animal serious injury or death. A companion animal for the purposes of the act includes, but is not limited to, dogs, cats, and horses, and more generally refers to an animal that the owners considers to be a pet. Aggravated animal cruelty does not include putting down an animal by recognized and approved methods, unless the euthanasia is administered by someone other than a licensed veterinarian.
Aggravated animal cruelty is a Class 4 felony. A second violation is a Class 3 felony. In addition to the penalties and consequences a convicted person may face for an aggravated cruelty charge, a court may order the offender to undergo psychiatric or psychological evaluation.
Under the Act, inflicting extreme physical pain with the intent to prolong pain or suffering of an animal is also a felony crime. Animal torture does not include hunting or fishing, or any alterations to the animal done in accordance with statute or court order. Legitimate alteration or destruction of an animal, such as spaying or tail docking, is also not illegal under the act.
Torturing an animal for no legitimate purpose other than to cause suffering is a Class 3 felony. Under the act, the court must order a person convicted of animal torture to undergo psychiatric or psychological evaluation as a condition of his or her sentence.
Although crimes related to animal cruelty may not seem as serious as other felony crimes, they are seriously prosecuted in Illinois and can lead to severe penalties and consequences. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.