Animal abusers could face harsher penalties

Harsher penalties for animal abusers

DES MOINES, Iowa – State lawmakers are working to crack down and increase punishments for animal abusers.

Legislation is in the works in the Iowa House of Representatives to enforce harsher penalties for those who participate in animal cruelty.

Rep. Rick Olson, (D) Des Moines, is spear-heading the campaign and says that changing a pre-existing law to enforce harsher penalties will come at a high cost for the state.

“It is ramping up penalties to a certain extent, so that they’re equal to penalties where you would inflict similar harm or injuries to a human being, so it’s a big step.”

It’s a big step, but it’s also a very complicated one.

Abusers causing serious injury or death to animals could face an aggravated misdemeanor while torturing of animals would be issued a first offense class ‘D’ felony.

These changes are being added to the current law, where penalties are not enforced until a second offense is detected.

Animal advocates in support of the bill say studies show that those who torture animals are more likely to torture or abuse humans.

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