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DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Belin Announces Stringent Animal Cruelty Initiative Signed Into Law

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DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced today that three initiatives proposed in his office’s 2023 legislative package have been signed into law.

One of the new laws strengthens law enforcement’s ability to remove companion animals from those charged with animal cruelty while the other two protect personnel and residents at long-term healthcare facilities.

The Animal Cruelty initiative, now known as Public Act 103-0490 (amended the Humane Care for Animal Act), passed the General Assembly in May 2023 and were signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Public Act 103-0490 went into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature (August 4, 2023).

Public Act 103-0490, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Karina Villa and in the House of Representatives by Representatives Maura Hirschauer, Anne Stava-Murray and Terra Costa Howard, amends the Humane Care for Animals Act by mandating that upon a violation of certain sections of the Act, rather than a conviction, the court may order the person in violation to forfeit the companion animal. The bill also allows a court to  prohibit the person or persons in the offender’s household from owning, possessing, harboring or taking custody or control of any other animals for a specified period of time up to permanent relinquishment (lifetime ban). If an individual is found to have violated these conditions, they will be subject to immediate forfeiture of any animal and imprisonment for not more than ninety days, a fine of not more than $2,500 or both. Additionally, the amendment added offenses under which law enforcement may take possession of a companion animal as well as adds offenses under which a court may order the forfeiture of an animal.

“This legislation is necessary to ensure companion and working animals will have protections in place if need be,” Villa said (D-West Chicago). “Animal cruelty is a harsh reality that happens far too often. Adding these additional safeguards will protect animals across the state…Those who abuse animals do not deserve to own animals themselves. The goal of this legislation is to protect animals from those who would do them harm.” – IL State Senator Karina Villa


“Recent cases of animal cruelty in DuPage County did not go far enough to protect the animals during the pendency of the case,” Berlin said. “I am very pleased that with support from the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker’s signature, we are now able to remove these defenseless animals from their alleged abusers and provide them food, water, medical attention as needed and ultimately find them caring, loving homes.”

The recent cases of animal abuse Berline was referring to have been in the local headlines.  In June 2023 there was a report of a case of alleged animal abuse by a Roselle woman who was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty, and 12 dogs in her possession were rescued from alleged inhumane conditions. DuPage County law enforcement charged the Roselle woman with 21 counts of animal cruelty after an investigation into dogs in her care.

Eryrina Bueno was charged with multiple misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and violation of owner’s duties in multiple cases over the course of several months, all pertaining to about a dozen dogs in her care.

Police said on March 19, an American bulldog Bueno owned named “Climax” suffered a burst mammary tumor. Police allege Bueno did not bring “Climax” to the vet until two days later, and the veterinarian advised the most humane course of treatment would be euthanasia. Law enforcement said along with the burst mammary tumor, the vet found “Climax” also had multiple untreated tumors, starvation, malnutrition, severe muscle loss, and severe arthritis. Bueno was initially charged with one count of cruelty to animals and three counts of violation of owner’s duties.

Then, in late May, police executed a search warrant on her home and found an adult Doberman, four American Bulldog puppies, and seven adult American Bulldogs, all of whom were living in inhumane conditions. While not all of the dogs rescued from Bueno’s home survived, a spokesperson from DuPage County Animal Services the dogs that have survived are responding well to care and treatment, and most have already found new forever homes. The remaining dogs are currently pending adoption, the spokesperson said.

Another case in the headlines and which Berline referred to when the new initiative was pending this summer is the case of felony charges being filed against a Glen Ellyn woman who was already facing 132 misdemeanor counts of Cruelty To Animals. DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced July 12 that Felony charges have been filed against an unincorporated Glen Ellyn woman facing 132 Misdemeanor counts of Cruelty to Animals and Violation of Owners Duties.

July 11th, Berlin’s office filed two charges of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Class 4 Felony) against April Elliott, 60 (d.o.b. 4/7/1963) of the 2N200 block of Mildred Avenue, as the result of a continuing investigation into the level of care Elliott provided for dozens of animals at her Glen Ellyn property.

On June 29, 2023, DuPage Animal Services filed thirty-three charges of Cruelty to Animals (Class A Misdemeanor) and ninety-nine counts of Violation of Owner’s Duties (Class B Misdemeanor) against Elliot. The same day, Judge Joshua Dieden issued a $50,000 with 10% to apply an arrest warrant for Elliot. Elliot turned herself in to authorities on July 7, 2023, posted the necessary 10%, or $5,000, and was released from custody. Yesterday, Judge David Schwartz issued a $75,000 with 10% to apply an arrest warrant for Elliot based upon the new felony charges. Elliot appeared in court today on the misdemeanor case and was taken into custody on the warrant.

On June 27, 2023, DuPage County Animal Services responded to the Mildred Avenue address for a call regarding the welfare of a dog that was left outside all day on a tether and appeared to be very skinny. Upon their arrival, officers allegedly found the dog tethered outside, as well as multiple large dogs lying on the ground and in dog cages stacked on top of each other, with four to five dogs in each cage, throughout the front room of the house. A search warrant for the residence was obtained by the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office and executed later that day. It is alleged that when executing the search warrant, authorities found thirty-three live dogs, nine deceased dogs, four deceased chinchillas, and one deceased rabbit. It is further alleged that all the animals were living in inhumane conditions that caused suffering to the animals.

According to the felony complaint filed against Elliott on July 12, from approximately June 15, 2023, through July 11, 2023, Elliot failed to “provide veterinary treatment to a companion animal, an adult male Husky mix dog named Flounder, when Flounder was severely malnourished, that caused Flounder to suffer serious injury and subsequent death.”

As part of the civil proceedings against Elliott, the State had filed a petition seeking forfeiture of the remaining dogs. Following a proceeding on that petition this morning, Judge Paul Marchese ordered Elliott’s rights to the thirty-two dogs be forfeited. The thirty-two dogs are now in the care of DuPage Animal Services and will be available for adoption once they have recovered. In addition, on June 30, 2023, the State filed a civil petition with the court for the removal and disposal of accumulated garbage, debris, and hazardous materials from the Mildred Avenue property at the owner’s expense. One week later, on July 7, Judge Bonnie Wheaton approved an agreement between the parties for this clean-up effort, which had already begun. A status hearing on those efforts is scheduled for August 4, 2023.

“It is alleged that Mrs. Elliotts’s disregard for the health and her failure to provide even the basic necessities such as food and water to dozens of animals in her care resulted in the death of fifteen animals, including ten dogs, and left thirty-two dogs severely malnourished,” Berlin said. “This is a heart-breaking case for all those involved. Sadly, following emergency surgery yesterday, Flounder succumbed to his condition. I would like to thank DuPage County Animal Services, particularly Operations Manager Laura Flamion for their unwavering, compassionate commitment to the health and well-being of these dogs. I thank DuPage County Building and Zoning Department Administration Coordinator Paul Hoss for his extended efforts. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyssa Rabulinski and Conor McCarthy as well as State’s Attorney Investigators Tim Black and Ken Keating for their outstanding efforts the past several weeks resulting in these charges.”

Elliot’s case will be in front of Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.
Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges and are not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Le procureur de l’État du comté de DuPage, Robert Berlin, a annoncé aujourd’hui que trois initiatives proposées dans le paquet législatif 2023 de son bureau avaient été promulguées.

L’une des nouvelles lois renforce la capacité des forces de l’ordre à retirer les animaux de compagnie des personnes accusées de cruauté envers les animaux, tandis que les deux autres protègent le personnel et les résidents des établissements de soins de santé de longue durée.

L’initiative sur la cruauté envers les animaux, désormais connue sous le nom de loi publique 103-0490 (modifiant la loi sur les soins sans cruauté envers les animaux), a été adoptée par l’Assemblée générale en mai 2023 et a été promulguée par le gouverneur Pritzker. La loi publique 103-0490 est entrée en vigueur immédiatement après la signature du gouverneur (4 août 2023).

La loi publique 103-0490, parrainée au Sénat par la sénatrice Karina Villa et à la Chambre des représentants par les représentantes Maura Hirschauer, Anne Stava-Murray et Terra Costa Howard, modifie la loi sur les soins sans cruauté envers les animaux en exigeant qu’en cas de violation de certains articles de la Loi, plutôt qu’une condamnation, le tribunal peut ordonner à la personne en infraction de confisquer l’animal de compagnie. Le projet de loi permet également à un tribunal d’interdire à la ou aux personnes faisant partie du foyer du contrevenant de posséder, de posséder, d’héberger ou de prendre la garde ou le contrôle de tout autre animal pendant une période de temps déterminée pouvant aller jusqu’à son abandon permanent (interdiction à vie). S’il s’avère qu’un individu a violé ces conditions, il sera passible de la confiscation immédiate de tout animal et d’un emprisonnement d’au plus quatre-vingt-dix jours, d’une amende d’au plus 2 500 $, ou des deux. De plus, l’amendement a ajouté des infractions en vertu desquelles les forces de l’ordre peuvent prendre possession d’un animal de compagnie, ainsi que des infractions en vertu desquelles un tribunal peut ordonner la confiscation d’un animal.

“Cette législation est nécessaire pour garantir que les animaux de compagnie et de travail bénéficieront de protections si nécessaire”, a déclaré Villa (D-West Chicago). « La cruauté envers les animaux est une dure réalité qui arrive bien trop souvent. L’ajout de ces garanties supplémentaires protégera les animaux dans tout l’État… Ceux qui maltraitent les animaux ne méritent pas de posséder eux-mêmes des animaux. Le but de cette législation est de protéger les animaux de ceux qui voudraient leur faire du mal. – Karina Villa, sénatrice de l’État de l’Illinois

“Les récents cas de cruauté envers les animaux dans le comté de DuPage ne sont pas allés assez loin pour protéger les animaux pendant la durée de l’affaire”, a déclaré Berlin. « Je suis très heureux qu’avec le soutien de l’Assemblée générale et la signature du gouverneur Pritzker, nous soyons désormais en mesure de retirer ces animaux sans défense de leurs agresseurs présumés et de leur fournir de la nourriture, de l’eau, des soins médicaux selon leurs besoins et, finalement, de leur trouver des foyers attentionnés et aimants. »

Les récents cas de maltraitance animale auxquels Berline faisait référence ont fait la une des journaux locaux. En juin 2023, un cas présumé de maltraitance animale par une femme de Roselle a été accusée de 21 chefs d’accusation de cruauté envers les animaux, et 12 chiens en sa possession ont été sauvés de conditions prétendument inhumaines. Les forces de l’ordre du comté de DuPage ont inculpé la femme de Roselle de 21 chefs d’accusation de cruauté envers les animaux après une enquête sur les chiens dont elle avait la garde.

Eryrina Bueno a été accusée de plusieurs délits de cruauté envers les animaux et de violation des devoirs du propriétaire dans plusieurs cas au cours de plusieurs mois, tous concernant une douzaine de chiens dont elle avait la garde.

La police a déclaré que le 19 mars, un bouledogue américain appartenant à Bueno, nommé “Climax”, avait souffert d’une tumeur mammaire éclatée. La police affirme que Bueno n’a apporté “Climax” au vétérinaire que deux jours plus tard, et le vétérinaire lui a conseillé que le traitement le plus humain serait l’euthanasie. Les forces de l’ordre ont déclaré qu’en plus de l’éclatement de la tumeur mammaire, le vétérinaire a découvert que “Climax” présentait également de multiples tumeurs non traitées, la famine, la malnutrition, une perte musculaire sévère et une arthrite grave. Bueno a été initialement inculpé d’un chef de cruauté envers les animaux et de trois chefs de violation des devoirs du propriétaire.

Puis, fin mai, la police a exécuté un mandat de perquisition à son domicile et a trouvé un doberman adulte, quatre chiots bouledogue américain et sept bouledogues américains adultes, qui vivaient tous dans des conditions inhumaines. Bien que tous les chiens sauvés de la maison de Bueno n’aient pas survécu, un porte-parole de DuPage County Animal Services a déclaré que les chiens qui ont survécu réagissent bien aux soins et aux traitements, et la plupart ont déjà trouvé un nouveau foyer pour toujours. Les chiens restants sont actuellement en attente d’adoption, a indiqué le porte-parole.

Un autre cas qui a fait la une des journaux et auquel Berline a fait référence lorsque la nouvelle initiative était en attente cet été est le cas d’accusations criminelles déposées contre une femme de Glen Ellyn qui faisait déjà face à 132 chefs d’accusation de délit de cruauté envers les animaux. Le procureur de l’État du comté de DuPage, Robert Berlin, a annoncé le 12 juillet que des accusations criminelles avaient été déposées contre une femme non constituée en société de Glen Ellyn faisant face à 132 chefs d’accusation de délit de cruauté envers les animaux et de violation des devoirs des propriétaires.

Le 11 juillet, le bureau de Berlin a déposé deux accusations de cruauté envers les animaux aggravée (criminalité de classe 4) contre April Elliott, 60 ans (d.d.n. 4/7/1963) du bloc 2N200 de Mildred Avenue, comme le

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