Animal Cruelty Bill | VideoJessica Roose | 1/24/2013
It was standing room only as people crowded in to hear testimony on a bill to strengthen animal cruelty laws in the state.
"I received several missed calls and threatening messages that night. Saying that if I did not answer my phone he was going to stab my dog in the chest and I would come home to a dead dog. He followed through with his threats," said Mandan resident Amy Brossart.
Brossart says her ex-husband will likely get slapped with a fine and maybe spend a week in jail. Cases like this are why some believe we need stronger animal cruelty laws on the books.
"While civilized society can not prevent all of life`s pains for humans or their animals. There`s certainly an expectation of a standard of life of quality of life that we can support. Senate Bill 2211 clarifies those expectations and parameters," said Fargo Senator Tim Flakoll (R).
If passed, It would define neglect, abuse and cruelty as three separate violations. Punishment for not giving adequate care or for abuse would result in a Class A misdemeanor for a first offence and a Class C felony for any subsequent offences within five years.
"The more egregious type of issues where an animal would be abused or result in death. That is a class C Felony," said Jason Schmidt with the ND Stockman`s Association.
The bill would also clarify what does not count as abuse and would allow for humanly ending an animal`s life to stop suffering and all customary practices in agriculture and the livestock industry.
While nothing will bring back Brossart`s dog, Chloe, she says she hopes something is done to protect other animals in the state. "It wasn`t the police, the judge or the attorney in this case that I believe failed. I believe it was the current statute as it stands. I would like to just show my support for this measure and hope that you take this into consideration that things like this do happen."
No one spoke in opposition to the bill.