Justice for All Animals Affected By Animal Cruelty
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As constituents who cares about animals we want the State of Washington to take a tougher stance on Animal Cruelty/Abuse and make punishments stiffer, so it will not only send a message that we will not stand for animal abuse, but also so it will discourage them and/or others from repeating the behavior.
Animal cruelty/abuse, which includes all forms of abuse; dog fighting, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc..., doesn't just affect animals and their owners, it affects everyone. And it applies to all animals; dogs, cats, horses, birds, cattle, poultry, all wildlife, etc... ALL ANIMALS! No animal deserves to be tortured, neglected, and/or killed! Animals can feel pain just as humans can feel pain!!
The abuser starts with abusing animals, but then goes to Domestic Violence and then on to Violence Against Society! These are most of the same people who go on to shooting up our schools, malls, movie theaters, etc.. It also leads to illegal gambling, drugs, robbery, illegal guns and murder. So, this is a problem for everyone!
As the law stands now, all forms of animal cruelty is only a Class C Felony, and that is only if it is considered in the first degree. This is punishable by only no more than five years confinement AND/OR a fine of up to, but no more than $10,000. And if it's considered to be second degree, that is only a Gross Misdeamener, which has only a confinement of up to 364 days AND/OR a fine of up to, but no more than $5,000!!! So, if a judge doesn't see fit to impose a jail sentence, all the offender has to do is pay a fine. Is that all that an animals life is worth? a fine? And then there's this;
' any prosecution of animal cruelty in the second degree, it shall be an affirmative defense, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant's failure was due to economic distress beyond the defendant's control'. So, an offender who's being prosecuted on a second degree charge can use economic distress as a defense!!! That is just not right!!
All of this has to be changed with stricter penalties!
Animal cruelty/abuse includes, but not limited to; starvation, dehydration, suffocation, dog fighting, physical and/ or emotional abuse, being tethered constantly, no shelter, abandonment, sexual contact of any kind, etc... Anything that causes an animal substantial pain and/or death.
The following are just three of the many animal cruelty cases here in Washington, where justice was not served for these poor animals:
- Haus, was a 15 month old pup that was used as a bait dog in dog fighting. His skin was literally ripped to shreds left showing his muscles and internal organs. The owner tried pushing charges to be filed...to at least have it listed as animal cruelty, but the police just kept saying he was hit by a car. Those injuries could not have happened from being hit by a car. They just want to turn a blind eye to what's really going on or they dont feel it's important enough to pursue.
- In 2017, a Deer Park couple only had to spend 60 days in jail for pleading guilty to several counts of animal cruelty. Animal rescue workers called it one of the worst cases of animal abuse they have ever seen. Officials say embedded collars and skin infections and untreated wounds were among the life-threatening health problems discovered.
- In 2015 Robert Leatherman from Thurston County, was found guilty of first degree animal cruelty and only received a 5 month sentence. His poor dog had suffered from chronic disease, hair loss, neglect, starvation and severe maggot infestation. They found rocks in his stomach, which was a clear indication that the poor thing was starving. Then when authorities found out about the dog, he hired someone to shoot it.
- That person, Gavin, shot him 3 times in the head and that still didnt kill him instantly, a vets said he suffered much up until he finally died. And this man, received only 30 days community service!!
All of these cases are an outright outrage!! All of these people should have received longer jail sentences! And Haus should have not died in vain. His life should've meant more than the disrespect it was given by authorities by just brushing it aside!
Anyone that is capable of such horrific acts is truly capable of anything and obviously has no respect for living beings. Animals are living breathing creatures and have feelings and can feel pain, just as humans can. We don't consider it alright to cause significant pain or to cause deaths in humans, why should it be any different for animals?
We would like to see the State impose a mandatory prison sentence for any animal cruelty conviction, a mandatory fine, counseling/treatment and revocation of all animals.
1. We want to present a proposed amendment to our state Legislature for consideration of amending the current animal cruelty laws, specifically RCW's 16.52.117 and RCW 16.52.205 from a Class C felony to a Class B felony and to impose a mandatory prison sentence upon conviction.
2. We want to present a proposed amendment to our state Legislature for consideration of amending the current animal cruelty laws, specifically RCW 16.52.207 from a Gross Misdeamener to a Class C felony and to impose a mandatory prison sentence upon conviction.
3. We also believe that sexual assault of an animal is always a crime. We support updating our WA state laws to ensure that bestiality is always defined as a criminal act, regardless of the motive. Just as in human sexual assault, this is about violence and power, not sex!!
We have to stand up and be the voice for those who cannot stand up for themselves! Will you join me and saying this is NOT acceptable and that we want tougher laws now? Animals deserve to live their life without being abused or scared.
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