Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Animal cruelty laws: How does your state measure up?

Have you ever wondered about your state's laws regarding animal cruelty, and how it measures up to others? I just discovered this handy chart of animal cruelty laws, which lists each state and whether animal cruelty is a felony or a misdemeanor, maximum sentences, and whether the state laws require counseling, bans against owning animals, and something called "PPO" that I can't figure out.

I was pretty impressed with my state's ratings. Colorado is one of the few states with green check marks all the way across, not to mention the state with the highest maximum fine: $500,000! But I was not at all surprised to see a row of red Xs and a dismally low maximum fine for both Missouri and Kansas, where we rescued my horse,

Of course, what the chart doesn't address is whether horses are considered livestock in each state. A recurring problem with cruelty to horses is that, because they are often considered livestock, neglect and abuse of horses is not treated with the same sense of urgency as with cats and dogs.

For instance, remember the Colorado bison slaying case I blogged about a while back? The guy only got 10 days in jail. This may not be a horse abuse case, but it demonstrates how cavalier people can be about the treatment of animals that are considered livestock.

How does your state measure up? Do the animal cruelty cases you've seen locally reflect your state's standing on this chart?



At March 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

Hi Katharine,

I searched the PPO, and it is a pet protective order, probably is slightly different in the states that have it, kinda like a child protective order, not letting the person have or see the animal?

Wow Colorado has the stiffest laws and fines! Washington is so so.

Cathey over at Fugly might be interested in this. I dont always agree with what she says but..... sshe gets info to a lot of people.

At March 31, 2009 at 3:40 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

Fugly had it posted at her blog too, but I read it here first :)

At March 31, 2009 at 3:52 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Hey Pam, just got your comments. :o) Yes, I got it from Fugly, admittedly, but I thought it was interesting by itself, whereas she used the link in a post about a repeat animal abuser.


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