Iowa Rescue Leagues pushes for stricter animal protection laws

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is pushing for better laws to protect animals in the state. They've released a report that ranks Iowa as the 49th worst state for animal protection laws.

The ARL is urging lawmakers to refine and define the state's companion animal code, asking for stricter penalties for crimes like leaving animals in hot vehicles.

The ARL's executive director calls it a bipartisan issue.

"Even though we recognize that the majority of Iowans really do care about companion animals and how they're treated, this is really going to take a grass roots level of work to get all of this bill through to the legislature," said Tom Colvin, ARL Executive Director.

The ARL will help lobby for animal protection laws at the capitol next month.

Illinois, meanwhile, is ranked best in the nation for animal protection, with felony penalties for things like cruelty, fighting, abandonment and more. A recent Illinois law prohibits pet owners from leaving their animals outside during extreme weather conditions.