An email I received yesterday from petabuse.com created the base for this article on mandatory animal cruelty laws. It’s one of the most useful sites on the internet for keeping up with cases of animal cruelty and I use it quite often for story ideas. To read the notice sent to me by them please click here. I hope all of the readers at pictures-of-cats.org will support them as they attempt to go through legislature to toughen animal cruelty laws.
This is a subject I’ve researched and written about on many occasions. Along with a national animal abuse registry, I believe there should be mandatory animal abuse laws in place to deter and punish abusers. I haven’t written many cat articles on this subject, but I HAVE reported on several dog stories where the abuser was a member of the police department. Or the abuser was a “good buddy” of the local sheriff or the nephew of the judge and never even arrested.
I say this after reporting on case after case where the abuser is either given probation or a small fine and released back into the population. Sometimes the accused is a member or law enforcement or related to the judge or what not. In any case THIS HAS TO STOP! An abuser is no better than the rest of us simply because of rank or family connections.
There’s an excellent site on the internet with state by state laws for animal cruelty and their punishment (link). It’s ridiculous to see how low fines and jail time are in most states for those convicted of animal abuse. Some states have much tougher laws than others. This is wrong. I personally believe we all need to be held accountable by the same standard in this country. Which is probably unrealistic since even punishment for serious crimes against humanity differ from state to state.
Whatever is necessary to make animal abuse punishable by a really harsh mandatory sentence needs to happen and we all need to contact our legislators. As a society, we must not allow the judges to free criminals because of who they know or what job they hold. One example I recently wrote on can be found here.
British Columbia, Canada recently toughened their animal cruelty laws back in April. The entire article is here. British Columbia is acting on recommendations of the Sled Dog Task Force, led by Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and Environment Minister Dr. Terry Lake. The task force submitted a report to Don McRae, who is Agriculture Minister. This report came after meeting with sled dog industry stakeholders and listening to how their citizens feel about animal abuse. Fines rising upwards of $75,000 and 24-month jail sentences will be enforced to get the animal abusers off of the streets and into prison. Or at least hurt them in their wallets. These new laws will pertain not only to sled dogs, but to all animals being abused.
One of the goals of this task force is to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and will include mandatory reporting of cruelty by veterinarians. Veterinarians will be encouraged to report cases and have statutory immunity in doing so.
I believe the mandatory sentences will deter more abusers than higher fines and jail time, but British Columbia has the right idea. I cringe when I read of states with a $500 fine and no jail time. I get physically ill every time I hear of a judge allowing a convicted abuser to walk with only probation. And then the justice system questions why the crime rates (especially domestic violence) are so high. From the time I was a small child I heard the saying “let the punishment fit the crime.” Perhaps someone needs to remind our court system that the same is as true today as it was over forty years ago when I first heard it.
Readers, what do you think it will take to lessen animal cruelty? I dare not dream it will ever stop entirely because there are people out there who are just plain mean. It’s hard to convince some people that many abusers get their kicks out of torturing and killing those weaker than themselves. That goes for humans as well as animals.
Listed below are some of my articles on law enforcement and animal abuse. They didn’t make PoC as they’re about dog abuse. It distresses me greatly to see how many abusers are members of law enforcement.
If those who are sworn to uphold the law are the ones abusing their power, then just what is this world coming to?