Make Animal Cruelty a Nationwide Felony

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Animals feel pain and fear like we do, but they are helpless victims. Abuse causes these innocent animals to endure so much pain, suffering, and loneliness, it can also cause an animal to become depressed, timid, or even aggressive. Examples are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestation, burning, punching, drowning, and the list goes on.
There is a high correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. About 1 million animals per year are abused because of domestic violence that occurs in the home where they live. 71% of pet-owning domestic violence victims report that their abuser also targeted their animal. The percentage of battered women who say that their children have abused or killed animals while at home: 32%- just by watching their animals be abused, the cycle of abuse is taught and continued.
There are up to 2,000 cases of animal hoarding per year reported in the United States, resulting in more than 250k abuse cases. Leaving a dog outside on a hot day, or especially within the confines of a car, can cause brain damage to the animal in as little as 15 minutes.There are about 6,000 documented cases of dog abuse that occur every year. The animals whose abuse is most often reported are dogs, cats, horses and livestock.
According to The Humane Society "the shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported every day is just the tip of the iceberg—most cases are never reported. Unlike violent crimes against people, cases of animal abuse are not compiled by state or federal agencies, making it difficult to calculate just how common they are. However, we can use the information that is available to try to understand and prevent cases of abuse."
Previous laws against animal-cruelty have loop holes and abusers were often only found guilty if a video of the abuse was being recorded. Abusers can come up with a million "reasons" for harming their pets but all of them are just cowardly excuses. There is never a reason to harm an animal.

California is generally a liberal state, but this is a law that anyone can get behind regardless of party affiliation. In fact, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act that I am writing about was actually introduced by bipartisan lawmakers Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who decided that setting party lines aside for a problem this great, is not only necessary but the right thing to do. The PACT Act targets “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals- “crushing” refers to a wide range of animal cruelty such as burning, drowning, suffocating or other serious bodily injury."
I am writing this petition to Nancy Pelosi not because I don't think she would be behind it already, but I would like her to see just how much this matters to California residents and United States citizens and hopefully inspire her to use her position of power to persuade both Democrats and Republicans alike that may be on the fence. “Congress should act to guarantee a level of protection for animals across the country by criminalizing these inhumane acts,” Deutch said in a release, and I make this petition and request to Pelosi to put action behind his words and make the PACT Act a priority.

What started out as a class project for me quickly became a real cause that I could get behind. Those heartbreaking ASPCA commercials can be ignored by changing the channel, but when an animal you love is hurt, it is something you never forget. Often you are as powerless as the amazing animal in front of you. Animals are there to comfort you, bring you joy and to love you... they deserve that love returned.