Report: Illinois ranked top state for animal protection laws

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Illinois ranks as the No. 1 state in animal protection laws for the 11th straight year.

The U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report rated states based on strengths and weaknesses in their laws. The ranks were given based on criteria of felony penalties such as cruelty, neglect, fighting and sexual assault.

Illinois was also recognized for having laws with increased penalties for repeat abusers, mandatory reporting of abuse by veterinarians and court control to restrict ownership for offenders after a conviction.

The report says Illinois could improve its laws by increasing penalties for offenders with prior domestic violence offenses and creating stronger felony provisions for neglect and abandonment.

Oregon, Maine, Colorado and Massachusetts were also among the top states for animal cruelty laws. Kentucky finished last for the 12th straight year.

For the full report, click here​.