Illinois has bark and bite when it comes to animal cruelty.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has ranked Illinois the highest among the 50 states, with California, Maine, Michigan and Oregon also named top dogs.
Illinois' anti-cruelty laws currently require mandatory forfeiture of animals upon conviction and stricter penalties for repeat offenders. The state also requires veterinarians to report instances of animal cruelty and places restrictions on abusers regarding future ownership of animals.
Those in ALDF's doghouse are Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Dakota -- which were ranked as the five "best states to be an animal abuser" for inadequate regulation on animal fighting.
Published at 7:59 AM CST on Dec 17, 2009