Target: Kurt Daudt, Minnesota’s Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Classify gross misdemeanor animal cruelty charges as felonies.
Minnesota’s animal protection laws leave much to be desired. Although the state is far from the worst in this category, it classifies most forms of animal abuse as gross misdemeanors rather than felonies. This means that instead of serving jail time for intentionally causing an animal harm, an animal abuser simply receives community service, behavioral counseling, and a temporary ban on animal ownership.
These legal inadequacies must be rectified, especially in light of worrying crimes against animals that have been committed in Minnesota. For example, an unidentified culprit has been attempting to poison people’s pets in St. Paul. Dinner rolls laced with deadly rat poison have been found in residents’ backyards and have nearly cost innocent dogs their lives. Alarmingly enough, this isn’t the first time Minnesota has seen a serial pet poisoner. It wasn’t long ago that hot dogs laced with poison and dangerous objects were found in Lakeville, causing several deaths. However, what is most troubling is the fact that, if these individuals were ever caught, they would only ever receive a slap on the wrist for their intentions to kill beloved pets.
Poisoning an animal is just one example of what Minnesota considers a gross misdemeanor. Injuring a service animal to the point where they can no longer work, torturing, maiming, or killing an animal, and depriving an animal of food and water are all classified as either misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors in the North Star State. Such lax penalties for such grossly abusive behaviors are hardly sufficient to deter would-be perpetrators from harming animals. Minnesota’s legislature needs to send the message that animal cruelty is a serious matter and will be penalized as such. Urge the state to re-classify gross misdemeanor animal cruelty charges as felonies by signing this petition.
Dear Rep. Daudt,
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and animal lover regarding the inadequacies of Minnesota’s animal cruelty laws. I was shocked to learn of the recent serial dog poisoning in St. Paul, but was horrified when I found out that, if the poisoner is caught, they will only be charged with a gross misdemeanor. Deliberately poisoning someone’s dog with the intention of killing or seriously injuring them is a terrible crime, and should be treated as such. The penalties for a gross misdemeanor are far too light for such a malicious act.
On that note, I must insist that the Minnesota legislature work to close the gaping holes in its animal protection laws. I ask that the poisoning of animals and all other gross misdemeanor animal cruelty charges be re-classified as felonies. That is the least that Minnesota can do to create a safer environment for its pets and the people who love them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: LuAnn Snawder