Don’t Let Convicted Animal Cruelty Offenders Continue Cycle of Abuse

Target: Karen Fann, President of Arizona State Senate

Goal: Ensure people convicted of harming animals receive psychiatric help and are prohibited from owning pets.

The city of Phoenix was recently the site of at least two animal cruelty cases involving pet caretakers. In the first case, an elderly woman allegedly threw her dog into a canal after being bitten. She then reportedly abandoned the animal, whom a witness saved from drowning. The second incident involves dozens of counts of alleged severe neglect on a man’s property. Over 30 cows, horses, and pigs were discovered on the premises, some apparently so sick that they were euthanized.

While both of these individuals were charged with animal cruelty, their cases demonstrate a lapse of protection in a state with otherwise solid animal welfare standards. Arizona currently has no laws on the books prohibiting a person convicted of cruelty from keeping animals in the future. Neither does the state mandate a psychiatric evaluation for convicted animal abusers. Both of these missing guidelines could be incredibly relevant and meaningful in these instances and in countless other cases.

Sign the petition below to urge these stronger safeguards for animals and for people who could be helped as well.


Dear Senator Fann,

As home to one of the nation’s first and most respected Animal Crimes Investigation units, Arizona has in many respects led the way in animal welfare. A few critical loopholes remain, however, in the state’s laws. For one, individuals convicted of animal cruelty can still gain access to animals and potential future victims. Cases of severe neglect, such as a recent incident involving nearly three dozen malnourished animals in Phoenix, could be especially impacted by these lenient laws.

Further, people who do not properly care for their pets are often animal hoarders, which is a psychiatric condition. These cases, combined with the studied links between animal cruelty and future acts of violence, should offer compelling evidence that Arizona—and every state—should consider making psychiatric evaluations mandatory for individuals convicted of animal cruelty. Addressing both of these dangerous animal welfare gaps in the legal system could move Arizona up the ranks of states with the strongest animal protection.

Fighting for animals unites people of all political stripes, so please join with your colleagues and strengthen laws on which most everyone can agree.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Vinicius Pontes


  1. Animal abuse will not stop until clear and severe punishments are given to every convicted offender and those offenders are banned from animal care for the rest of their lives. We need stronger laws to protect animals and far better enforcement of animal protection and welfare laws. We need judges who actually punish animal abusers too.

  2. Law enforcement doesn’t acknowledge the fact that these offenders are a threat to all,and they do escalate. Significant money needs to be applied to these horrific cases.

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