Target: Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota
Goal: Commend new animal welfare laws that make animal cruelty a felony crime
South Dakota has recently become the 50th and final state to pass animal protection laws, making animal cruelty a felony. The laws were implemented to combat growing trends of animal sport fighting, animal torture videos, and puppy mills, forms of animal cruelty left generally unchecked in the state. The bill was passed into law by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to deter and prosecute those who “willfully and maliciously seek to harm animals.”
Dog fighting and cock fighting have become a source of heated debate in the state, where lax laws have spawned many illegal fighting rings. Crush videos, a trend that features the extreme torture and killing of small animals, have gone viral online, while the state was powerless to prosecute the creators of the videos.
The new legislation will upgrade cruelty to animals from a misdemeanor charge to a class 6 felony. It will now be punishable by a fine of $4,000 and up to two years imprisonment. The law defines animal cruelty as “the intentional, willful and malicious infliction of physical abuse that causes prolonged pain, serious injury, or the death of an animal,” and will make both animal fighting and crush videos illegal.
Two decades in the making, now every American state will be able to prosecute animal cruelty offenses and work to prevent them equally. The new laws will prevent unnecessary death and suffering of innocent animals in South Dakota, protection long overdue. Thank Governor Daugaard and the South Dakota congress for passing the new animal protection legislation.
Dear Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota,
South Dakota has become the 50th state to implement animal protection legislation. The law will upgrade animal cruelty from a misdemeanor charge to a felony, making it punishable by a $4,000 fine and two years in prison. The law will crack down on trending animal torture videos, puppy mills, and animal fighting rings, allowing offenders to be prosecuted on the state level.
The new legislation will offer long overdue protection to animals in South Dakota by prosecuting those who participate in “the intentional, willful and malicious infliction of physical abuse that causes prolonged pain, serious injury, or the death of an animal.” I commend South Dakota’s efforts to improve the safety and quality of life for its pets and animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: misspea via Flickr Creative Commons