Support Felony Legislation for Animal Cruelty in North Dakota

Target: North Dakota Senator Tim Flakoll

Goal: Thank North Dakota for becoming the 49th state to pass felony animal cruelty charges

In the wake of Idaho’s decision to pass a similar law, North Dakota recently introduced a bill that will increase penalties, including felony charges, for animal cruelty. This is a big step for animal welfare, leaving Kentucky the only state without felony charges, and deserves our praise.

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Flakoll, Senate Bill 2211 will amend the current animal cruelty laws, making neglect, abuse, and abandonment a misdemeanor for first and second offenses and a felony for a third offense. The law will make provisions, however, to give prosecutors the discretion to charge someone with felony animal cruelty in cases of extreme abuse or neglect, even if it is a first offense.

The new law will, however, leave a significant loophole. It does not matter how many animals are involved; all acts of abuse will be considered a singular incident. For example, under the new legislation, a recent case of neglect in North Dakota involving the death of 100 horses would be punished with the same severity if it had only been one horse. The prosecutor has the discretion to press felony charges, of course, but because there will be no inherent obligation this leaves a rather large loophole. Animal rights organizations throughout North Dakota are hopeful that with enough pressure they will be able to close these loopholes, as well as those that would exist for puppy mills and breeders.

This bill isn’t perfect just yet, but it is significant progress. Hopefully, Kentucky will follow North Dakota’s example so we can finally see felony penalties in all fifty states. Please sign the petition below to thank North Dakota for bringing us one step closer to seeing animals get the protection they deserve across the United States.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Flakoll,

You recently sponsored Senate Bill 2211 that will amend the current animal cruelty laws in North Dakota to include felony charges for a third offense. This will make North Dakota the 49th state to have felony penalties for animal abuse and neglect.

Thank you for taking the necessary steps to ensure that animals throughout North Dakota have the protection they deserve. This new law will no doubt save hundreds of lives and keep many others from having to endure unnecessary suffering.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ShutterMoth via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. It’s time for all states to recognize animal rights and humane treatment as an essential part of our constitution and civilization.

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