Tuesday, October 24, 2006

After String of Unbelievable Cruelty Cases, Group in Utah Aims to Make Animal Cruelty a Felony

These paragraph say it all as to why this is necessary:

“A woman bringing three injured kittens to the animal shelter said her boyfriend had been getting free kittens from listings in the newspaper with the intent of hurting them.
The animals were burned and some had broken legs or tails, said Temma Martin, spokeswoman for Salt Lake County Animal Services. Martin said the woman told her she had left the relationship and would testify about what he had been doing to the kittens in court.

A Sandy man beat and kicked the 13-month-old dog in front of his wife and at least one child, then dumped the injured animal in a canal behind his house.
His wife later retrieved the dog and took it to a veterinary hospital, where it died of internal injuries. The man pleaded guilty to a class C misdemeanor animal cruelty charge and was sentenced to two months of jail - three months would have been the maximum penalty.
The case caused an outcry and propelled a bill increasing penalties through the next legislative session. But lawmakers fell short of what animal advocates say is the ultimate goal: making some animal cruelty in Utah a felony.”


Article:

Advocates hope to make animal cruelty a felony

http://www.sltrib.com/portal/news/ci_4540221?_loopback=1

A legislator says Utah is one of eight states without strong laws because of a misperception that a bill would limit hunting

By Debbie Hummel
The Associated Press

A woman bringing three injured kittens to the animal shelter said her boyfriend had been getting free kittens from listings in the newspaper with the intent of hurting them.
The animals were burned and some had broken legs or tails, said Temma Martin, spokeswoman for Salt Lake County Animal Services. Martin said the woman told her she had left the relationship and would testify about what he had been doing to the kittens in court.
''In the meantime, she moved back in with him,'' Martin said.
Martin is worried about the woman, and her concerns are valid.
The link between animal cruelty and domestic violence is becoming increasingly clear. Last April, Maine was the first state to adopt a law including pets in domestic protective orders.
''It means that the courts are acknowledging that [the abuser] may stop abusing the wife and the children, but he'll still scare everyone to death by abusing the pets in the home,'' said Frank Ascione, a psychology professor at Utah State University.
Ascione has published and lectured on the link between animal abuse and other acts of violence in the home.
''A lot of the incidents where these activities occur are in an instance of child abuse or domestic violence,'' he said. ''The animal abuse is kind of a sentinel for us indicating that there are problems in the family.''
2005, the Humane Society of Utah investigated 305 cases of animal cruelty or abuse, according to the most current statistics on their Web site.
On May 25, during a fight with his wife, a Murray man put his wife's Chihuahua-mix puppy, Henry, in a 200-degree oven. Henry suffered damage to his front paws and now limps.
It wasn't the only time Marc Christopher Vincent had hurt the dog. He was also accused of chasing and cornering the dog with a leaf blower, damaging one of the dog's eyes, which later had to be removed, according to charging documents.
Last month, Vincent, 36, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of aggravated animal cruelty; a second count was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 6 and faces up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The maximum penalty for animal cruelty in Utah is a year in jail if it is charged as a class A misdemeanor; it can also be charged as a lower class B or C misdemeanor. Jail time is rare.
Animal cruelty in Utah was only charged as a lower misdemeanor until the 1995 death of a Rottweiler named Dawg.
A Sandy man beat and kicked the 13-month-old dog in front of his wife and at least one child, then dumped the injured animal in a canal behind his house.
His wife later retrieved the dog and took it to a veterinary hospital, where it died of internal injuries. The man pleaded guilty to a class C misdemeanor animal cruelty charge and was sentenced to two months of jail - three months would have been the maximum penalty.
The case caused an outcry and propelled a bill increasing penalties through the next legislative session. But lawmakers fell short of what animal advocates say is the ultimate goal: making some animal cruelty in Utah a felony.
Utah is one of only eight states that do not have felony penalties for animal cruelty.
Martin hopes the cases of Henry's oven-burned paws and the injured kittens - one died, and another is still badly injured and might require skin grafts - will again build interest in getting tougher animal cruelty penalties.
''Each year it hasn't failed in the Legislature, it's just gotten held up,'' Martin said.
In the past two years, the bill has made it through the House only to fail in the Senate, said Rep. Scott Wyatt, R-Logan.
Wyatt sponsored those attempts and said there is a different plan this year.
He said he would like to see it start the process in the Senate, ''and if it can get through the Senate, I'm going to run it from there.''
He said the problem in the past has been one of misperception.
''It's an animal cruelty bill, and they assume that it's an animal rights bill and it's not that,'' Wyatt said.
Utah has a long tradition of hunting, farming and ranching, Wyatt said, and some worry that it will interfere with or limit those activities. But the bill actually strengthens exemptions for those traditions, he said.
"Then the bill takes the most serious of animal abuse, the intentional prolonged abuse of an animal, and calls it what it is: a felony,'' Wyatt said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THE ONLY PEOPLE WORSE THAN THESE NAZI MONSTERS IS THE SICK MORMON NAZI GOVT THAT TOLERATES & SUPPORTS THESE BEASTS, SOON THESE BEASTS WILL BE TAKING OUT THEIR HATE ON HUMANS

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