An open letter to the animal owners who leave their pets outside during extreme weather.

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Dear Animal Owner,

I don't like your dog. You see, I've never liked dogs. When I was young, I was riding my bicycle down the sidewalk when a white dog came running after me and nipped at my feet on the pedals. I was frightened, I got nervous in my young age and fell off my bicycle like Bono on the streets of New York City. It hurt, I cried and vowed I would never in my life get a dog.

My husbands family, my family, my friends all have dogs. I don't like them. They bark, they poop and pee everywhere and they are always in the way. Have I mentioned they lick you and slobber all over? Gross. Dogs are not my thing. No way, no how.

Don't get me wrong, I'll play nice. I've seen a cute one from time to time, but your dog is not special to me. Your dog is not my friend. Your dog is your thing.

I may not like your dog, but I have more respect for that furry-doggy-life than you do. As much as I don't like your dog, I wouldn't treat it the way you do.

I hate the way that you leave your dog outside in extreme weather. You have wonderful things inside of your home. You have a refrigerator that holds cold water, heat, cool air, food, shade, and a place to lay your head.

Your dog needs those comforts as well.

How would you feel if I put your neck in a chain collar and tied you to a tree that provides no shade? Did I mention its over 95 degrees outside? I'll also leave you outside for hours at a time, maybe even over night so you can find somewhere to cool off and lay your head down. If you are lucky, I'll leave you a small bowl of water. Ration yourself, because there wont be any food for you either.

Sounds terrible doesn't it?

Believe it or not, thousands of people, much like yourself terrible dog owner, who do this to their animals every day.

Thankfully, the law has stepped up to put people like you in your place.

Illinois lawmakers, including the Senate and Illinois House have approved legislation that  would make leaving pets outside in extreme hot or cold weather punishable with jail time and fines. All it needs is approval from Gov. Bruce Rauner to become law.

To you, horrible animal owner who leaves their pets outside, you can spend up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The day this passes and the day you get caught, I will celebrate. I may even foster your dog or cat. Because no animal, whether I like the animal or not, should be treated this way.

Sincerely,

Lori