Arkansas Now Has New Animal Cruelty Law
This is terrific news, especially after all the animal abuse cases I've been reporting on. A new law was just passed in Arkansas to make animal cruelty a felony.
LITTLE ROCK -- Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation Wednesday to make torturing a dog, cat or horse a felony on first offense in Arkansas.
Senate Bill 77, crafted by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and sponsored by Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, became Act 33 at a Capitol ceremony.
The bill, which had no emergency clause to make it law upon getting the governor's signature, becomes effective 90 days after the end of the legislative session making a conviction for aggravated animal cruelty punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The legislation also includes a five-year sentencing enhancement for anyone convicted of torturing an animal in the presence of a child.
Once again, it was the voice of the people who helped this law come to fruition.
"It was the people of Arkansas who demanded this bill. The letters I received, the letters to the editor, the e-mails, the calls -- they never let up," Madison said. "This bill is law today because the people of Arkansas would not give up."
Now, let's see about getting this law passed in every state where animal torture is not a felony.