Harsher Punishment for Animal Cruelty

Rashel Dan asked:

Animal cruelty is getting more and more prevalent today. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of it. Dog fighting, a common practice in some places is, for example is considered to be a felony in most countries.  However, the punishment for such does not reflect that of a felony crime.  As a result, there will always be people who will continue to neglect and abuse animals.

A lot of environmental activists and concerned people believe that the law should push stronger implementation of anti-animal cruelty laws.  Stronger laws mean tougher punishments, and animal cruelty offenders need to be punished using the strongest punishment allowed by law.

Why People Abuse Animals

Most of those who show domestic violence against humans have a history of abusing animals.  There are a lot of serial rapists and murderers who started out by abusing and torturing animals.  When they think that they can get away with animals without any form of punishment, then they look for more challenging subjects: humans.

Statistics – Based on a 1997 study by the MSPCA and Northeastern University, 70 percent of the people who committed violent crimes against animals also had records for other crimes.  When put side by side with a control group of their neighbors, the animal abusers were found five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people.  Also, they are four times more likely to perpetrate property crimes, and three times more likely to have a record for disorderly conduct or drug offenses.

Most people believe that punishing animal cruelty offenders would prevent and implementing the strictest law on them would discourage more animal cruelty.  Since animals can’t speak for themselves, more and more people are now taking it to themselves to advance their cause in the animals’ behalf.

Animal Cruelty Law in America

California law is commendable.  It recognizes animal cruelty as a felony offense with a provision for mandatory counseling and prison time.  Also, about 33 states and the District of Columbia now have laws that make certain types of animal cruelty a felony offense.

Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Maine increased punishments for this crime.  Illinois increased its penalties for cruelty, dog fighting and neglect.  Illinois law mandated psychological counseling for youth offenders and animal hoarders.  Texas and Arkansas have dealt with the need for psychological counseling.  Maine has passed a bill that has special provisions for torturing or killing an animal with the intent of intimidating or frightening a child, or forcing a child to kill an animal.   Louisiana necessitates their government employees to report any incidence of animal abuse or neglect they discover while investigating child abuse of neglect.

These are all very admirable.  However, there are still some states that need to impose strong punishment for animal cruelty.  Remember, animal cruelty is a crime.  Offenders have to be punished.  Our animals’ safety could depend on our involvement.  It could even be our own lives at the line.

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