Illinois "Best of the Best" in Protecting Animals - NBC Chicago

Illinois "Best of the Best" in Protecting Animals

Hawaii ranks at bottom of animal rights group's list



    Illinois "Best of the Best" in Protecting Animals
    Getty Images
    A Chihuahua waits adoption at a Los Angeles Department of Animal Services shelter on December 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    An animal rights group says Illinois is "the very best of the best" when it comes to states and their animal protection laws.

    In its report released Wednesday, the Cotati, Calif.-based Animal Legal Defense Fund looked at animal abuse laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    California, Maine, Michigan and Oregon were also singled out as demonstrating a strong commitment to combating animal cruelty.

    The positive ranking isn't cause for overzealous celebration, however.

    "Even in those jurisdictions that have today’s best laws, there remain many opportunities for improvement," said Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund's director of legislative affairs and author of the report.

    The worst state, according to the group, is Hawaii.

    The group says Hawaii doesn't include felonies for extreme neglect or abandonment of animals, or provisions requiring veterinarians to report suspected abuse.

    The group also asserts Hawaii's animal fighting laws are insufficient and its peace officers have no duty to enforce animal protection laws.

    Rounding out the bottom five are Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota.

    For the full report, head over to