Target: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo
Goal: Protect pets by making animal abuse penalties stricter.
A series of bills introduced to the House Judiciary Committee in Rhode Island would move to make animal abuse which results in death a felony by law, and would also increase the penalties significantly. The inspiration for this legislation stems from the considerable rise in severe animal abuse cases and was hurried along due to the recent story of a particular dog that was found so badly abused that he had to euthanized quickly thereafter. The abuser also faced a short and quick punishment: 11 months on probation, a $100 fine and a required $500 contribution to the SPCA.
The shocking growth of these animal abuse cases over the years has stunned lawmakers and sparked research on the topic. It has been found that people who commit these crimes have an almost 100 percent recidivism rate and are highly likely to commit acts of abuse against humans.
The proposed bills suggest that the maximum punishment be increased from 11 months to two to five years in prison, provide for a $1000 fine, extend the maximum community service hours from 10 to 50, and would implement a new animal abuser registry online that would include the abuser’s name and address. Furthermore, the failure to register in this new and accessible database would result in a misdemeanor subject to up to one year in prison and a $1000 fine.
These bills would strengthen penalties on animal abusers, hopefully deterring them from adopting pets in the first place. Please sign this petition urging Rhode Island to adopt this new legislation enforcing stricter penalties on violent animal abusers.
Dear Governor Raimondo ,
I am writing this letter to you in the hopes that it will make a positive difference in your contemplation of the new animal abuse bills introduced by Rep. Patricia Sherpa, Rep. William O’ Brien, and Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi. The crime of animal abuse has been significantly increasing over the years and this has much to do with the weak and ineffective punishments associated with being charged with animal cruelty, even when it results in death.
The legislation introduced would impose two to five years in prison, a $1000 fine, a maximum of 50 hours of community service and mandatory registration on an animal abuser database. These penalties would decrease the likelihood of abuse, recidivism, and adoption of pets by former animal abusers.
Animal cruelty and abuse is a serious problem in our society, and if we do nothing to fix it then nothing about this negative behavior will change–in fact, it will continue to worsen and increase in scale. Please accept and pass these bills to promote positive change in your community. The passing of this legislation will perhaps inspire the entire nation to adopt stricter penalties for animal maltreatment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Stefan Korner