Target: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Goal: Pass animal protection bill to stop animal cruelty
A bill to impose tougher penalties on animal abusers and to allow law enforcement more freedom to stop animal abuse was recently passed by South Carolina’s Senate. The state, which is currently ranked #46 in terms of animal protection by the Humane Society of the United States, aims to reduce instances of animal cruelty and facilitate the prosecution of animal abusers.
The recent case of Andra Grace, a dog dragged behind a moving truck, highlighted the need for law reform in the state. The offender, Roger Owens, was convicted only of a misdemeanor despite a past record of cruelty to animals and other offenses dating back 20 years. The offense was later upgraded to felony animal cruelty after public protest.
The bill, S193, an amendment to South Carolina Animal Law Section 47-1-140, will allow police to arrest anyone with an abused animal in their custody, with or without a warrant. The abusers can be held liable for any costs associated with caring for a seized animal, including any veterinary bills.
The bill, proposed by Senator Danny Verdin, would see increased penalties for misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, as well as eliminate a tiered penalty system when dealing with such offenses. This will eliminate a mere fine for some abusers, which was originally proposed in the Roger Owens case.
After passing the Senate, and later, the House Judiciary Committee, the bill requires only the signature of the governor for approval. Ask South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to protect animals by passing S193 into law.
Dear South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley,
Senator Danny Verdin has proposed a bill to toughen animal cruelty penalties and facilitate the arrest and prosecution of animal abusers. Currently, South Carolina is ranked #46 in terms of quality of animal protection by the Humane Society of the United States.
The new law would see harsher penalties imposed for misdemeanor animal abuse charges by eliminating a tiered punishment system for offenders. It will allow the arrest of anyone with an abused animal in their care, and allow abused animals to be seized by law enforcement. Those charged with animal cruelty crimes can be made to pay for any costs of the animal’s care, including veterinary bills.
The bill, S193, passed unopposed through the Senate and House Judiciary Committee, and now only requires Governor approval. I urge you to uphold animal protection in South Carolina by passing S193 into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: b1ue5ky via Flickr Creative Commons