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September 19, 2018

Ritchie Bill To Fight Animal Abuse Signed Into Law


State Senator Patty Ritchie announced her measure to boost training for law enforcement and help them to more effectively crack down on animal abuse has been signed into law by the Governor.

“The effectiveness of our laws to protect animals from mistreatment and abuse depend on how knowledgeable and well-trained members of our law enforcement are,” said Senator Ritchie. “Through this measure, police and prosecutors will be better informed about laws aimed at protecting animals and will be more aware of the tools they have available to them to crack down on those who seek to harm these innocent creatures.”

The measure, Senate bill 5320, will require state agencies to work more closely together in developing police training policies and procedures related to the enforcement of animal cruelty and protection laws.

In addition, it will also require the state to make information about animal abuse laws more accessible to law enforcement in both written and digital formats.

The signing of Senator Ritchie’s legislation continues her work to prevent the abuse and mistreatment of animals. Her prior efforts include the following:

Cosponsoring a law that allows municipalities to regulate pet dealers, giving local governments the authority to enact stronger laws to protect the well-being of animals and crack down on puppy mills;

Sponsoring a law that makes it a crime to possess dog fighting equipment or other devices used to train fighting dogs. This measure protects innocent animals from a growing number of animal fighting cases, by giving police and prosecutors new tools to stop dog fighters; and

Supporting a law that strengthens penalties for theft and mistreatment of pets. This measure increases the maximum fine, for the first time since 1970, from $200 to $1,000 for those who harm, steal or transport a pet that’s not their own.

In addition, earlier this year a measure sponsored by Senator Ritchie that would double prison sentences for abusing an animal in the presence of a child was approved by the Senate.

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