The Illinois Animal Welfare Federation provides the following resources for its members and others interested in and committed to the rules, regulations and best practices for animal shelters, animal control facilities, and other animal welfare organizations in the State of Illinois.  

Best Practices and Operating Guidelines

The IAWF has evaluated and endorsed the following guidelines for the operation of animal shelter and animal control programs. 

Association of Shelter Veterinarians

The ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters were originally released in 2010 to serve as a pivotal resource for the care of shelter animals in the US and around the world. The second edition of the Guidelines, published in December 2022, incorporates advances in shelter medicine knowledge to expand on the previous document.  

Like the original, the Second Edition is written for all personnel caring for shelter animals in a variety of settings, including foster-based organizations, nonprofit humane societies and SPCAs, municipal animal services facilities, and sanctuaries.  The revised edition was authored by 19 veterinarians representing animal shelters, higher education and national non-profit organizations. Every recommendation in the latest edition was unanimously agreed upon by the task force members, just as was for the original document.

The entire document can be downloaded and/or seen in a checklist format. The checklist is also available in an Excel spreadsheet making it easier to sort and print only certain sections. Training videos are also available and the guidelines have been translated into French and Spanish.

Socially Conscious Animal Community

Socially Conscious Shelters strive to ensure the best possible outcomes for every homeless cat and dog in their care and community.

At its core, Socially Conscious Sheltering is about working in collaboration with partners and the community to support the individual needs of people and their pets. Comprised of animal shelters and rescues, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, veterinarians, human-animal resource providers, and caring citizens, Socially Conscious Animal Communities provide access to thoughtful resources and services to improve the welfare of all vulnerable animals. We invite you to join us.

State Agencies

Illinois Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare

(217) 782-4944

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

(217) 782-6302

Illinois Department of Public Health

(217) 782-4977

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

(888) 473-4858

Legislative Information –

On this site, you will find the Illinois Compiled Statutes (laws), pending legislation, legislator information, and more!

Illinois General Assembly

State Laws Re: Animals and Administrative Rules

Each of the state laws that pertain to animals has corresponding Administrative Rules that also must be adhered to.  Follow the links below to both the Acts and Rules.

Animal Welfare Act

Animal Welfare Act Rules

Humane Care for Animals Act

Humane Care for Animals Act Rules

Animal Control Act

Animal Control Act Rules

Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters Act

Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters Act Rules

Illinois Animal Welfare Federation
PO Box 10473
Chicago, IL 60610

© Illinois Animal Welfare Federation
PO Box 10473
Chicago, IL 60610
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