Dogs walk around the filed prior to a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians

(Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

Illinois Named Best State for Animal Protection Laws; Missouri No. 34

This is the 11th year in a row that Illinois has taken the top honors.

January 08, 2019 - 2:33 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Animal Legal Defense Fund has released its yearly list of where states rank in animal protection laws and Illinois is at the top - first place for the 11th year in a row. Missouri is in the middle. Kentucky is last.

The rankings look at how tough the laws and statutes are in each state, for things like leaving animals in hot cars or breed-specific legislation.

Related: Missouri Named No. 1 Puppy Mill State For Sixth-Straight Year

(Animal Legal Defense Fund)

Missouri was placed at No. 34, near the bottom of the middle tier. The Animal Legal Defense Fund had a few positives for the Show Me state, like its sentence enhancments for repeat offenders. However, a negative was that the state has an "Ag-Gag" law which seeks to silence whistleblowers and activists, and punishes them for going undercover to record video and take photos of alleged puppy mills and farms. 

Illinois was the cream of the crop again this year. Among the few negatives was that Illinois does not give immunity for citizens who rescue animals vehicles – meaning the person could be liable for a broken widow if they save a dog from a hot car. But it's positives include, animal fighting for all species is a felony and an increased penalty when abuse is committed in the presence of a minor. 

Rounding out the top-five after Illinois, is Oregon, Maine, Colorado and Massachusetts. In the bottom-five is Kentucky, Mississippi (49), Iowa (48), Wyoming (47), and New Mexico.

Take a look at the full report, here.