1) Heading of the Part: Animal Welfare Act

2) Code Citation: 8 Ill. Adm. Code 25


Section Numbers:

Proposed Actions:
















4) Statutory Authority: Animal Welfare Act [225 ILCS 605]

5) A Complete Description of the Subjects and Issues Involved: These amendments add sanitation and safety requirements to entities licensed by the Department under the Animal Welfare Act (dog breeders, cat breeders, animal shelters, kennel operators, animal control facilities, foster homes, and pet shop operators). The amendments add requirements for enclosures to be safely constructed, large enough for the animals, and have adequate lighting and ventilation. The amendments contain provisions to protect animals from dangerous weather conditions. The amendments also add requirements for licensees to provide animals with proper exercise, hygiene, and physical examinations.

6) Published studies or reports, and sources of underlying data, used to compose this rulemaking: None

7) Will this rulemaking replace any emergency rulemaking in effect? No

8) Does this rulemaking contain an automatic repeal date? No

9) Does this rulemaking contain incorporations by reference? No

10) Are there any other proposed rulemakings pending on this Part? No

11) Statement of Statewide Policy Objective: This rulemaking does not create a State mandate.

12) Time, Place and Manner in which interested persons may comment on this proposed rulemaking: A 45-day written comment period will begin on the day the Notice of Proposed Amendments appears in the Illinois Register. Please mail written comments on the proposed rulemaking to the attention of:

Pamela Harmon
Illinois Department of Agriculture
State Fairgrounds, P. O. Box 19281
Springfield IL 62794-9281

fax: 217/785-4505

13) Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis:

A) Types of small businesses, small municipalities and not-for-profit corporations affected: The safety and sanitation requirements will impact dog breeders, cat breeders, animal shelters, kennel operators, animal control facilities, foster homes, and pet shop operators licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. It will not have a direct impact on small municipalities or unlicensed not-for-profit corporations.

B) Reporting, bookkeeping or other procedures required for compliance: Licensees must keep a record of all completed physical examinations shall be available for inspection. Licensees must also keep a daily log documenting daily exercise for each animal.

C) Types of professional skills necessary for compliance: None

14) Small Business Impact Analysis:

A) Types of businesses subject to the proposed amendments:


Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting

B) Categories that the Agency reasonably believes the rulemaking will impact, including:


Equipment and material needs


Record keeping

15) Regulatory Agenda on which this rulemaking was summarized: This rulemaking was not summarized in a regulatory agenda because it was not anticipated.

The full text of the Proposed Amendments begins on the next page:











Incorporations By Reference


Buildings and Premises


General Care of Animals


Dogs and Other Companion Animals Brought into Illinois (Repealed)


Importation of Exotic or Non-Domestic Animals; Permit (Repealed)


Animals Imported Into Illinois


Shipment of Mammals and Birds


Health of Animals at Time of Release


Department May Restrict The Sale of Animals






Consent Statement and Inspection


Animals Prohibited from Sale


Guard and Sentry Dogs


Boarding and Training


Animal Control Facilities and Animal Shelters


Foster Homes


Kennel Operators


Illinois Diseased Animals Act

AUTHORITY: Implementing and authorized by the Animal Welfare Act [225 ILCS 605] and the Illinois Diseased Animals Act [510 ILCS 50].

SOURCE: Regulations Relating to the Animal Welfare Act, filed May 17, 1974, effective May 27, 1974; amended October 6, 1976, effective October 16, 1976; codified at 5 Ill. Reg. 10438; amended at 7 Ill. Reg. 1724, effective January 28, 1983; amended at 12 Ill. Reg. 8265, effective May 2, 1988; amended at 13 Ill. Reg. 3628, effective March 13, 1989; amended at 18 Ill. Reg. 14898, effective September 26, 1994; amended at 20 Ill. Reg. 265, effective January 1, 1996; amended at 23 Ill. Reg. 9758, effective August 9, 1999; amended at 28 Ill. Reg. 13376, effective October 1, 2004; amended at 30 Ill. Reg. 13124, effective July 24, 2006; amended at 31 Ill. Reg. 6904, effective May 1, 2007; amended at 43 Ill. Reg. 4505, effective March 26, 2019; amended at 44 Ill. Reg. 10087, effective May 28, 2020; amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____.

Section 25.10 Definitions

"Act" means the Animal Welfare Act [225 ILCS 605].

"Physical examination" means an examination performed by a licensed veterinarian, in which the veterinarian determines the health and fitness of the animal and renders advice and recommendations pursuant to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004 [225 ILCS 115]. The physical examination shall include, at minimum, a hands-on examination, including a comprehensive physical examination, dental assessment, body condition scoring, and pain assessment.

"Animal" as used in this Part means any mammal, bird, fish, or reptile offered for sale, trade, or adoption or for which a service is provided by any person licensed under this Act.

"Companion Animal" means an animal that is commonly considered to be, or is considered by the owner to be, a pet. Companion animal includes, but is not limited to, canines, felines and equines. [570 ILCS 70/2.01a]

"Enclosure" means the area where a dog or cat is confined. Enclosures include, but are not limited to, cages, whelping boxes, and runs.

"Equine Shelter" is an animal shelter as defined in Section 2 of the Act that is only for equines.

"Exotic or non-domesticated animals" means mammals (including non-human primates), reptiles and birds that are not native to North America and are not normally maintained livestock (llamas, ratites, cervids and similar animals are considered livestock under this definition) or native mammals that are not domesticated and normally maintained as pets (i.e., prairie dogs). Not included in this definition are hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils or any member of the species felis catus that have been domesticated or canis familiaris.

"Fire Alarm System" means a system automatically activated by a device that detects smoke, heat or fire. The fire alarm system automatically triggers a notification to local emergency responders.

"Fire Sprinkler System" means one of the following systems that automatically trigger a notification to local emergency responders when activated:

Any water-based automatic fire extinguishing system employing fire sprinklers. The sprinkler system shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 13 (Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2013)) and NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code (2015)), both available from the National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy MA 02169. "Fire sprinkler system" includes accessory fire pumps and assorted piping, fire standpipes, or underground fire main systems starting at the connection to the water service after the approved backflow device is installed under the requirements of the Illinois Plumbing Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 890) (Code) and ending at the most remote fire sprinkler; or

Sprinkler heads that are in a loop of the potable water system, as described in Sections 890.1130 and 890.1200 of the Code.

"Staffing Plan" means a plan to staff a kennel operating any time cats or dogs are on the premises. At a minimum, a staffing plan must include the kennel operator's hours of operation, number of staff, names of staff, and the staff's contact information. The staffing plan must show that at least one staff member is on site, alert and available any time dogs or cats are on the premises.

"Qualified Fire Inspector" means a local fire official or a building inspector, working for a unit of local government or fire protection district, who is qualified to inspect buildings for fire safety or building code compliance.

"Work Progress Form" is a form issued by the Department to licensees or applicants notifying them of deficiencies and the improvements required to be made by them within a specified period of time to comply with the Act.

(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____)

Section 25.20 Buildings and Premises

a) All buildings and premises shall be maintained in a sanitary condition and the licensee shall:

1) Have covered, leak-proof containers available for storage of waste materials before disposal to control vermin and insects. Such containers shall be maintained in a sanitary condition. This subsection (a)(1) does not apply to equine shelters.

2) Dispose of dead animals in compliance with the Illinois Dead Animal Disposal Act [225 ILCS 610] and rules enacted pursuant to that law (8 Ill. Adm. Code 90) or the Companion Animal Cremation Act [815 ILCS 318]. Compliance with this State Law shall not exempt a licensee from compliance with local ordinances.

3) Take effective control measures to prevent infestation of animals and premises with external parasites and vermin.

4) Provide water from a source having sufficient pressure to properly sanitize and clean the facility and equipment. This subsection (a)(4) does not apply to equine shelters.

5) Provide hand washing facilities.

b) All buildings shall be constructed so as to provide adequate shelter for the comfort of the animals and shall provide adequate facilities for isolation of diseased animals and their waste to avoid exposure to healthy and salable animals.

c) Floors of buildings housing or displaying animals shall be of permanent construction to enable thorough cleaning and sanitizing, except equine shelters. Dirt and unfinished wood floors are unacceptable, except for equine shelters. Cleaning shall be performed daily, or more often if necessary, to prevent any accumulation of debris, dirt or waste.

d) Enclosures Cages shall be constructed of a material that is impervious to urine and water and able to withstand damage from gnawing and chewing. This subsection (d) does not apply to equine shelters. The floors of the enclosures must be constructed of a material that does not sag, bend, or bounce.

1) The enclosures cages must be cleaned and sanitized at least once daily, or more often if necessary.

2) All empty enclosuresc ages shall be kept clean at all times.

3) Enclosures Cages shall be of sufficient size to allow the animal to comfortably stand, sit, lie, or turn in a complete circle, and offer freedom of movement.

4) An ambient temperature as defined in the rules for the Federal Animal Welfare Act (9 CFR 3.2; 2006) shall be maintained for warmblooded animals. In the case of coldblooded animals, the temperature that is compatible to the well-being of the species shall be maintained.

5) Beginning December 31, 2022, all enclosures containing dogs and cats shall:

A) Have flooring consisting of a solid surface, slats or coated wire (PVC or vinyl) to decrease and prevent injury and decrease the detrimental health effects on the enclosed animals. Slats shall be appropriately spaced for the species and size of the animal and shall be constructed in a manner which prevents the animal's feet from getting trapped or injured;

B) Not be stacked on top of each other unless the enclosures were commercially designed and constructed to be a multi-level enclosure/kennel; and

C) Be placed in facilities, if located indoors, with adequate light and ventilation to allow for the well-being of the animal and to permit routine inspection and cleaning.

6) Beginning January 1, 2023, outdoor enclosures for dogs and cats must meet the requirements of this Part and meet the following additional requirements:

A) If climatic or ambient temperatures pose a threat to the health and welfare of the dog or cat, effective measures must be taken to eliminate the threat; and

B) Not be used if the dog or cat is unable to tolerate the prevalent temperatures, based on the animal's own characteristics, including breed, body condition, and acclimation to the environment.

e) Runs shall be constructed of material of sufficient strength and design to confine the animals. This subsection (e) does not apply to equine shelters.

1) They shall be kept in good repair and condition.

2) For new construction or remodeling, the licensee shall provide runs surfaced with concrete or other impervious material.

3) Surface of the run shall be designed to permit the surface to be cleaned and disinfected and kept free from excessive accumulation of animal waste.

4) Provisions must be made for adequate drainage, including gutters and discharge of any fluid or content into a sewer, septic tank or filter field, and shall comply with any local zoning.

f) Cages or aquariums for housing of small animals, birds, or fish shall provide space not less than 2½ times the body volume of living creatures contained therein.

g) If animals are group-housed, they shall be maintained in compatible groups without overcrowding. No female animal in estrus shall be placed in a pen with male animals, except for breeding purposes.

h) Upon an inspection of a licensee or applicant by the Department, the Department may provide a Work Progress Form to the licensee or applicant if deficiencies are detected during the inspection. The licensee or applicant must make the improvements to correct the deficiencies listed in the form within the time period specified in the form.

(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____)

Section 25.30 General Care of Animals

a) All persons or establishments licensed under this Act shall comply with all Sections of the Humane Care for Animals Act [510 ILCS 70].

b) Sufficient clean water and fresh food shall be offered to each animal daily as prescribed in the rules for the Federal Animal Welfare Act (9 CFR 3.5-3.7; 2006). In the case of young animals, they shall be fed more than once daily. Reptiles, fish or amphibians shall be fed and cared for in accordance with the eating patterns and environmental conditions compatible with each individual species.

c) The licensee or the licensee's his representative shall be present for general care and maintenance of the animals at least once daily.

d) Aquariums containing fish shall be kept in a clean healthful condition. Live algae shall not be considered an unhealthful condition. Any dead fish shall be removed from aquariums.

e) Adult cats shall be provided with litter pans at all times. The pans shall be cleaned and sanitized at least once daily or more often if necessary.

f) Equine shelters shall follow the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities (2004). The AAEP care guidelines are available from the Department and published on the Department's web site.

g) Dog breeders, cat breeders, animal shelters, kennel operators, animal control facilities, foster homes, and pet shop operators shall:

1) Provide grooming, as necessary, to prevent matting of coat and to prevent accumulation of fecal matter, urine or any other material within the coat. Grooming shall include nail trimming to ensure that nails do not injure the dog or cat.

2) Comply with Section 8 of the Animal Control Act [510 ILCS 5] with regards to rabies inoculation and must register with their county of residence.

3) Provide animals an opportunity for daily exercise. Exercise may consist of a play area, time in run or leash walks. A daily log shall be maintained documenting daily exercise for each animal.

4) Have a working relationship with a veterinarian who provides recommendations on vaccination and deworming protocols. Each animal shall receive a complete physical examination by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of intake or prior to adoption or sale, whichever occurs first, and thereafter on an annual basis if the animal has not yet been adopted or sold. Each animal used for breeding shall receive an annual physical examination by a licensed veterinarian as long as the dog is in the breeding population. A record of all completed physical examinations shall be available for inspection.

(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____)

Section 25.90 Records

a) Records of sales of all animals, excluding fish, shall be maintained by the licensee for a minimum period of 12 months after date of sale or transfer of animal, and shall include the source of animal, date of sale, description and sex of animal sold, and the name and address of purchaser. Records of sales of small mammals (i.e., hamsters, mice, gerbils or rats that were born in the United States), birds and fish are not required. These records must be available for inspection during normal business hours by Department employees or persons designated by the Department. Each licensee must report to the Department the number of dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and exotic or non-domesticated animals sold for the previous calendar year at the time of license renewal. Shelters and animal control facilities must report to the Department the total number of dogs, cats and other animals received, adopted, euthanized or reclaimed by the owner for the previous calendar year at the time of license renewal.

b) If record of prophylactic medication is used in advertisement or is furnished the purchaser or person acquiring an animal, specific information regarding type, amount, and date of prophylactic medication shall be kept by the licensee and shall become a part of the retail sales record.

c) The licensee or the licensee's his representative shall furnish the purchaser of a dog, cat or non-human primate a written statement at the time of sale.

1) The statement shall show:

A) Date of sale and date of birth, if known.

B) Name, address, and telephone number of licensee.

C) Name, address, and telephone number of purchaser.

D) Breed and description of dog, cat or non-human primate, including age, sex and weight of the animal.

E) Prophylactic immunizations and dates administered.

F) Internal parasite medications and dates administered.

G) A record of sterilization or lack of sterilization.

H) Guarantee, if offered; if none, so state.

I) If the dog or cat is being sold as being capable of registration, the name and registration numbers of the sire and dam and registry information.

J) Records shall also include any other significant identification, if known, for each animal, including any official tag number, tattoo or microchip.

2) This information may be recorded on Department Form PS-5 (Animal Welfare Release Statement), or on a similar form prepared by the licensee and approved in advance by the Department.

d) The licensee shall have any dog used as a breeding animal sire tested annually for canine brucellosis. The test must be performed by a licensed veterinarian and the licensee must keep a copy of the test results for two years.

(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____)

Section 25.140 Foster Homes

The licensed animal shelter shall be responsible for maintaining records of formal written agreements between licensee and foster as required under 225 ICLS 605/3.2 submission of the application and payment of the required fee prior to utilizing a designee as a foster home. The following requirements shall be complied with and will be the shelter's obligation:

a) No more than four animals (dogs or cats) shall be maintained at a foster home location at any one time.

ab) The animals held at the foster home shall be afforded a clean environment and the home shall comply with all provisions of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act [510 ILCS 70].

c) The animals held for adoption shall be segregated from any personally owned pets.

bd) Records for the animals shall be available for review by Department personnel upon request and shall be retained at the animal shelter for two years.

ce) The foster home shall be accessible for inspection general observation by Department personnel for compliance with sanitation and the quality of care being afforded the animals as required under 225 ILCS 605/3.2.

df) Any dog over four months of age shall be vaccinated for rabies and the certificate of vaccination will be transferred to the person adopting the dog.

eg) No animals shall be released to an adoptive owner until provisions have been completed for spaying of females or neutering of males.

(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. _____, effective _____)