North Dakota Needs Tougher Animal Cruelty Laws

Target: North Dakota Legislature

Goal: Create felony charges for animal abuse violations

There are only two states in the U.S. that do not have felony charges for animal abuse.  North Dakota is one of them.  Two prominent animal rights groups are campaigning to provide legal protection for abused animals with a ballot initiative and proposed legislation.  Help them raise awareness about North Dakota’s lacking animal welfare laws.

No matter what the nature of the crime is, animal abusers in North Dakota can only receive misdemeanor charges from a judge.  One group fighting to protect animals is North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty, a coalition of veterinarians, citizens and other concerned professionals.  The group is currently collecting signatures for a ballot initiative this November that would make it a Class C felony for anyone who engages in intentional and malicious abuse towards a dog, cat or horse.  Offenders could also have to undergo psychiatric treatment and be banned from owning an animal for five years.

Another group, North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care, believes that the ballot measure is limited in scope and does not provide enough protection.  They have drafted legislation that seeks to protect both livestock and pets, would make animal neglect more strictly punishable and would allow veterinarians and animal control officers to seize animals that they believe are being abused.  North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty says that it has little faith that legislators will be interested in such a law, which is why they are proposing a ballot initiative.

Whatever the route that North Dakotans end up taking, animals in the state need our help.  Please help these two noble groups by singing this petition and raising awareness about these reforms.


Dear Members of the North Dakota Legislature,

North Dakota is one of only two states in the United States that does not have felony charges for animal cruelty.  Animal advocacy groups have consistently ranked your state as one of the worst states for animal protection in the country.  It is time to make animal welfare a serious issue and two North Dakota groups are increasing the pressure to do so.  North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty, a coalition of animal-related professionals and citizens, is currently gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would make it a felony to abuse a dog, cat, or horse and require offenders to undergo psychiatric evaluation.  They don’t have much faith that the state legislature will take this issue seriously, which is why they are trying to put their proposal on the ballot in November.

You can take a proactive and progressive step by passing legislation that would create felony charges for animal abusers.  In fact, the group North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care has drafted a proposed law that would protect both pets and livestock, make animal neglect a punishable offense and give more authority to veterinarians and animal control personnel in situations where they suspect abuse is occurring.  By working with them, you can pass a law that provides the comprehensive protection that animals in your state need.  Protecting animals is a victory for everyone.  Please do the right thing and listen to the growing number of concerned voices in your state and across the country.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Catherine Chalmers says:


    It states here that North Dakota is one of the States that has no felony charges for animal abuse. Can anyone tell me what the other one is?

  2. Why should this state be any different and they should get punished for a crime and that s what it is a crime. p;ease sign and put a end to cruelty to animals.

  3. They’d better get on it and change that! WTH?

  4. mary simmons says:

    Stop the abuse to animals!

  5. Kris kenneally says:

    Cruelty MUST end…..and offenders need to be prosecuted just like any other CRIMINAL….North Dakota do NOT embarrass yourselves and let this continue……you would not allow it if it was a child or a loved one that was a victim…..ANIMALS are VICTIMS…they cannot SPEAK for themselves…..THIS IS DISGUSTING!!!! REDEEM yourselves…STOP ABUSE and PROSECUTE!!!!!!!

  6. This page should be updated/deleted. ND passed a stripped down version of NDRAC’s legislation making animal cruelty a felony in April 2013.

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