Building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people.
The Anti-Cruelty Society believes that since companion animals provide people with joy, recognized health benefits, friendship, and are completely dependent on human care, all members of the household should carefully and in full agreement decide to adopt an animal. Ownership carries the responsibility of meeting the physical and social needs of the animal including food, shelter, safety, veterinary care, and companionship. We strongly encourage the identification of all pets through collars with tags and recommend permanent identification methods (e.g. microchips). The owner should be familiar with and follow the existing laws relating to animals such as licensing, leash regulation, rabies vaccination, and waste disposal. All animals should be under proper restraint or control at all times. We discourage the subjection of animals to cosmetic surgery unrelated to their health and well-being.
The Anti-Cruelty Society recognizes that certain companion animals can assist special-needs individuals lead more independent lives by helping to perform everyday tasks which would otherwise be difficult or impossible for these individuals. Service animals have been shown to greatly assist people who have physical, visual, emotional, or hearing limitations. We feel it is important that during training, and subsequent placement, the service animal's physical, medical, and behavioral needs are always considered and humanely met. We support the use of positive reinforcement training for the teaching of tasks to service animals.
Education and Training
The Anti-Cruelty Society is deeply committed to humane education programs, especially in the primary and secondary schools. Such training should be an integral part of study programs.
The Anti-Cruelty Society continues to support initiatives and dialogue aimed at reducing violence and abuse in all of its forms. We recognize the distinct connection between human and animal violence, and believe that by increasing awareness of this link through humane education, we can help more effectively address the violence issues facing society and our animals.
Keeping live animals in schools as pets should be limited by the availability of responsible supervision, proper care and facilities.
We support zoos which encourage education and an interest in animals. Sanitary conditions and adequate habitats must be provided. We encourage all captive animal facilities to achieve and maintain national accreditation standards.
Dog training allows animal owners to learn about the behavior of their pet and how to positively affect changes. We recommend basic obedience training based on positive reinforcement rather than on punishment.
The Anti-Cruelty Society believes spaying and neutering are the most effective ways of overcoming the companion animal overpopulation crisis. Mandatory spay/neuter procedures prior to adoption are supported within the Society and in cooperation with the State of Illinois, other humane societies, and veterinarians. We support early-age (prepubertal) sterilizations.
The Anti-Cruelty Society remains an open-admissions shelter and we accept all animals that we are legally permitted to hold. While The Anti-Cruelty Society energetically promotes the adoption of shelter residents, we believe not all animals are adoptable due to health status, age, or dangerous behavior. Therefore, The Anti-Cruelty Society may administer euthanasia in accordance with an owner's wish or to prevent further animal suffering. The Anti-Cruelty Society strongly supports the use of the most humane methods available for the intended species. Euthanasia by injection, attended to by trained personnel, is currently recommended for all companion animals and is the only method used by The Anti-Cruelty Society.
The Anti-Cruelty Society deplores the requisition of unwanted animals from pounds and shelters for experimental purposes. The availability of animals at a cheap rate for experimentation merely encourages waste of life. We believe the use of pound and shelter animals corrupts the meaning of shelter. We actively oppose legislation permitting these activities.
The Anti-Cruelty Society believes the use of animals for research should be permitted only when there are no known feasible alternatives. Research should be limited to the smallest number of animals of the most suitable species, maintained in sanitary conditions and cared for in a humane manner.
Animals for Sport and Entertainment
The Anti-Cruelty Society supports efforts to assure that animals used for entertainment purposes are not depicted in a brutal manner or treated inhumanely. Live animals should not be used as prizes or premiums.
The Society remains a strong opponent of all forms of animal fighting, and we support law enforcement and prosecutorial activities intended to reduce this wide-spread inhumane practice.
Carriage horse operations, horse racing, and circuses should be conducted in a humane manner and should be inspected by the appropriate authorities to ensure humane care and public safety.
Rodeo events, because of procedures and equipment exposing rodeo animals to cruel treatment and the likelihood of injury, are opposed by The Anti-Cruelty Society.
The Anti-Cruelty Society opposes dog racing because of cruel training methods, the large scale breeding of unwanted dogs required to produce a winner, and because this so-called sport is an inhumane and unjustified exploitation of animals for profit.
The Anti-Cruelty Society disapproves the system of raising animals in an artificial and inappropriate environment. We believe it is wrong to maintain animals in a manner that causes them discomfort or denies them an opportunity to develop naturally. We oppose any cruelty and abuse in any animal industry and encourage the humane treatment of all animals.
Procedures for the slaughter of animals should be conducted to minimize fear and eliminate pain and suffering.
Hunting and Trapping
The Anti-Cruelty Society opposes the steel jaw leg-hold trap and any other non-selective, inhumane traps. We also strongly oppose the illegal and the indiscriminate hunting of animals.
Protection of Wild Animals and Endangered Species
The Anti-Cruelty Society urges Federal and State wildlife agencies to broaden their protection of all species and encourage citizens to assist in preserving habitat where such species are known to reside. We recommend orphaned or injured wildlife be placed with a licensed rehabilitation facility for care.
The Anti-Cruelty Society supports legislation designed to protect the public from all dangerous dogs, regardless of breed. Breed specific legislation fails to address the problem of attacks by dogs other than the proscribed breed or breeds and the problem of irresponsible owners.
Wild and Exotic Animals as Pets
The Anti-Cruelty Society believes wild and exotic animals make unsuitable pets and most people are not equipped to properly maintain such animals in a home environment. These animals should be placed with a licensed rehabilitation facility or wildlife sanctuary for care or eventual reintroduction.
Sale of Animals in Pet Stores
The Anti-Cruelty Society is strongly opposed to the sale of companion animals through pet stores and similar outlets (i.e. puppy mills and indiscriminate breeders). Investigations have exposed cruel and inhumane conditions in many such establishments; including over-crowding, filth, inadequate shelter, and lack of food, water, and veterinary care.
The Anti-Cruelty Society supports work being done to enforce licensing and operational requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act, which would abolish "puppy mills" as they are now.
Local, State, and National Sponsorship of specific legislation or support and participation on issues shall be reviewed by the Board of Directors as these issues arise and the extent of commitment and resources made available (e.g. financial, oral and/or written testimony) shall be at the discretion of the Board of Directors.