Make animal cruelty a punishable offense regardless of protection status

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My name is Hillary, and I recently stumbled upon one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen. I just saw a Youtube video of a Michigan teenager savagely beating a porcupine to death -- while his friends laughed in the background.

These images angered me, as I remembered reading about a similar situation from earlier this year. In Upstate New York, a group of 8 boys butchered a dozen porcupines. Authorities acknowledged the wanton killing. The Sheriff claimed to be outraged by the incident, but his agency was unable to charge the boys with any crime because porcupines are classified as nuisance animals, not protected wildlife, in New York State. And the same is true in Michigan.

Psychologists and law enforcement officials have long documented animal cruelty as a leading indicator of future violence committed against humans.

There is a clear difference between killing a nuisance animal to protect life, home, or agricultural property, and bludgeoning a nuisance animal to death for kicks.

The only way to address this is to ensure that animal cruelty is classified as a crime -- no matter the protection status of the animal it is perpetrated against. The boys who committed this horrific act should be held accountable. And that can only happen if their depraved action against a so-called nuisance animal rises to the level of a punishable offense under the law.

Please sign this petition and tell the Michigan legislature to extend animal cruelty laws to cover ALL animals -- wild and domesticated -- today.