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The HSUS Ranks Seven States Without Felony Animal Cruelty Provisions

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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:07 AM
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The HSUS Ranks Seven States Without Felony Animal Cruelty Provisions


Even the hardest-hearted Americans accept that violent animal cruelty is a serious crime, and recent high-profile cases of animal cruelty have captured the public's attention. Forty-three states, plus Washington D.C., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, recognize the gravity of these crimes and have felony animal cruelty laws on the books. Unfortunately, seven hold-out states have not kept up with the national trend of upgrading anti-cruelty laws, and still consider the torturing and killing an animal a simple misdemeanor charge.

"Legislators in these seven states have been hard on animals and soft on crime for far too long," said Dale Bartlett, The HSUS' deputy manager for animal cruelty issues. "It's past time for them to listen to their humane-minded constituents, and to pass felony animal cruelty legislation to protect both the animal and human members of their communities."

The Humane Society of the United States has analyzed these seven weak state statutes. Following is a list from best to worst:

Alaska: Alaska offers the strongest penalties of the Shameful Seven. Animal cruelty carries maximum penalties of one year in jail and $10,000 in fines. Judges may also prohibit a convicted animal abuser from owning an animal for up to 10 years.

Arkansas: Arkansas caps penalties at one year and $1,000, but allows judges to order convicted animal abusers to undergo mandatory psychological evaluation and, if warranted, treatment.

North Dakota: North Dakota edges out its southern neighbor by $1,000. Convicted animal abusers are eligible to serve up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

South Dakota: Maximum penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty in South Dakota are a measly one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Idaho: For a first conviction, an animal cruelty convict may be sentenced up to six months in jail and/or be ordered to pay up to a $5,000 fine. Upon a third animal cruelty conviction, penalties rise to one year and $9,000 fine.

Utah: Utah caps penalties at one year and $2,500. Strong Utah cruelty provisions include a psychological counseling component and a ban on possessing or retaining custody of an animal for any designated period. But a unique definitions section of the statute that exempts all wildlife and all animals kept for agricultural or rodeo purposes from even being considered "animals" under the law makes this one of the worst two cruelty laws in the nation.

Mississippi: Mississippi's misdemeanor cruelty statute caps penalties at six months and $1,000. The Mississippi Supreme Court found the statute to be unconstitutional in December 2001. The court, in Davis v. Mississippi, ruled the statute was too vague to be understood by an ordinary person. The law was ruled void against Davis, but not in cases across the state. Confusion over the constitutionality of the statute, coupled with its extraordinarily weak penalties, makes Mississippi's animal cruelty law the very worst in the nation.

http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releas...
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:10 AM
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1. Arkansas, huh? Guess that's why Huckabee's son isn't a felon for torturing
and killing a dog.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:18 AM
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2. Is It Any Coincidence that Most of These Are Among the Reddest of Red States?
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Yes
I think Blue States are much more Humane Society and anti-cruelty supporters.
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Glorfindel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:18 AM
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3. Big surprise - Mississippi is last in everything else
why not animal cruelty as well? :(
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Being from Texas I wish Mississippi WAS last at everything--We're
last in health care for kids, education, and a host of other stuff. Plus we have Tom Delay, John Cornyn, KB Hutchison, Joe Barton and Dubya's ranch.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:21 AM
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4. Alaska's "pet ban" for a convicted offender option
is nice to see.

I'd really like to see these states get up to speed. Of course, if you don't prosecute, what good is it?
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:27 AM
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6. Animal cruelty is the first indication of future sociopathic behavior.
George Bush enjoyed putting firecrackers in frog's mouths when he was a kid. As a frat boy he branded initiates with a hot coat hanger. Now he's graduated to water boarding.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:41 AM
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8. Arkansas' state legislature has defeated a felony animal cruelty bill 3 times so far.
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SledDogAction Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 09:24 AM
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9. AK laws shouldn't exempt mushers and sled dog races
Currently, Alaska animal cruelty laws exempt sled dog mushers and sled dog races. This has got to be changed. The Alaskan Iditarod is terribly cruel to dogs. Here's a short list of what happens to the dogs during the race: death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons, vomiting, hypothermia, sprains, fur loss, broken teeth, torn footpads and anemia. For more facts, go to the Sled Dog Action Coalition website: helpsleddogs.org
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