Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune, has pre-filed a bill for the 2017 legislative session that would seek to make aggravated animal cruelty a felony as well as allow law enforcement to charge offenders with multiple counts of animal abuse, an option that is not currently available.
Under the current law, those who commit simple cruelty, which includes depriving a dog or cat of food, water or shelter, face a maximum fine of $1,000, up to six months in jail or both. Aggravated cruelty, which includes torturing, starving, burning or disfiguring a dog or cat, is considered a misdemeanor on the first offense, with punishment of up to a $2,500 fine, up to six months in jail or both. A second offense of aggravated cruelty is only considered a felony if it’s done within five years of the first conviction, and it carries a penalty of a $5,000 fine and one to five years of jail time.
What do you think? Should punishment be tougher or is the current state law enough?
Vote in the #PEPPoll.