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      Illinois ranks number one in animal protection laws

      Illinois ranks number one when it comes to laws protecting animals.

      That's according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund .

      The Animal Legal Defense Fund cited felony penalties for animal cruelty, neglect and fighting as some of Illinois' strengths.

      KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with Adams County's assistant state's attorney about the ranking and why it's important.

      "I know laws in Illinois are tough, and I'm proud to be a part of the prosecution end of it," Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Cifaldi said. "I think there's always room for improvement."

      Cifaldi serves as prosecutor in animal cruelty cases.

      "I think it's a problem in a lot of areas," she said. "A lot of times it goes under reported."

      Cifaldi said animal cruelty cases could lead to other problems.

      "Studies have shown it's not a far leap that if you're going to abuse your spouse or your child for you to also kick your dog or hurt your cat."

      Iowa ranked as one of the worst states for animal protection laws, coming in at 48th on the list. North Dakota and Kentucky ranked 49th and 50th, respectively. Missouri ranked 40th.

      You can find a complete list of the report by clicking here .