Don’t Let Dog Poisoners Off With Lax Punishments


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

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  1. Rhona LaBruzzo says:

    Minnesota, time to stop living in the 1800’s when peoples say, small budgets and lax laws were common. Please enter the year 2016 and feel the love from others besides humans. Hope you don’t have lax laws on oterh important issues.

  2. Minnesota, what is wrong with you. That does nothing to stop animal abuse. A slap on the wrist. You have got to be kidding me. Do the right thing and prosecute these pos’s with a felony for animal cruelty/abuse

  3. Punishment for horrific abuse, torture and murder is so lax and ineffective that it must change and change now. New extreme laws must be made, loops holes removed and those laws must be enforced. That is the only way that this will stop.

  4. Pat Parran says:

    Cruelly poisoning an animal, causing immense suffering, torture and death is NOT a minor crime! It is horrific abuse and, along with most other inhumane animal crimes should be considered FELONIES!

    They MUST be severe penalties and strictly enforced! There is no other way to deter these horrors, although a Animal Cruelty Registry should be mandatory, both statewide and federally!

    Minnesota needs to start caring for helpless innocent domestic animals and wildlife–and stop acting like sociopaths who care for nothing but themselves!

  5. Minnesota it’s time you have strict laws for animal abuse and stop letting
    the abusers go free.There needs to be protection for these animals. Your
    just as guilty as the abusers if you don’t stop them.

  6. michelle taylor says:

    I am ready, willing and able to help enact the required peramanet payback to these POS dog murderers

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