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Animal Welfare

The Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare has the statutory authority to license and inspect pet shop operators, dog dealers, kennel operators, cat and dog breeders, animal control facilities, animal shelters, day care operators, guard dog services, and horse rescues.  These facilities are defined in the Illinois Animal Welfare Act, 225 ILCS 605, and all facilities must comply with the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Rules.  

In addition to licenses under the Act, the Illinois Department of Agriculture administers Humane Investigator training and maintains a listing of licensees and reports as required.

Click on the link above to access ALL of the information needed to apply for and renew a license. 

A listing of the laws, rules, and regulations under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.  The Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Rules are listed here as well as on the page for license applications.

A listing of companies and individuals licensed through the Illinois Department of Agriculture to do business with the state of Illinois.  Animal Health and Welfare licenses are at the top of this page. 

Approved Humane Investigators

Approved Humane Investigators are persons approved by the Department to determine if there has been a violation of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act.  They must have membership in or be employed by a humane society and must be sponsored by the humane society they are affiliated with.  They are not employed by and do not represent the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

  • Humane Investigator Training -  The 2023 Approved Humane Investigator (AHI) Training Seminars have been completed. When 2024 training dates are established the letter and application will be located here. 

**For those who attended the 2023 AHI training, your certificates will be mailed to your sponsoring agency. If you have not received your certificate by January 15, 2024, please inquire by sending an email to us at  

This is a summary of information regarding Animal Health and Welfare licenses in compliance with 225 ILCS 605 (Illinois Animal Welfare Act), 225 ILCS 620 (Illinois Feeder Swine Dealer Licensing Act), 225 ILCS 645 (Illinois Livestock Dealer Licensing Act), 225 ILCS 635 (Illinois Horse Meat Act), and 225 ILCS 655 (Illinois Slaughter Livestock Buyer Act).

This report includes intake and outcome statistics for each licensed animal control facility or animal shelter as required under 225 ILCS 605/7 paragraphs (1) and (2). 

Per 225 ILCS 605/7, the Department shall not be required to audit or validate the intake and outcome statistics required to be reported. Any questions regarding statistics should be directed to the reporting entity directly. 

A listing of various forms for the Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, Meat and Poultry Inspection and Livestock Management Facilities.  

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