Animal cruelty isn’t something most of us think about nor do we want to think about it. That’s probably why it might come as a surprise that significant cases of animal cruelty generally aren’t a felony offense. That might be about to change. However, there’s a new bi-partisan bill being brought forward by Florida Representatives Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan. They’re proposing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.
The proposed bill would make animal abuse a felony under these circumstances:
crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling animal or sexually exploitation
The sentence would be up to seven years in prison. Aside from the moral argument relative to the animals themselves, there’s overwhelming research linking animal abuse to other forms of misconduct. In fact, studies from the National Link Coalition, Northwestern University, and others have shown the following:
43% of school shooters abused animals first Animal abuse leads to domestic abuse, or worse, 88% of the time
That’s pretty telling. This ACT has passed the U.S. Senate previously but not the House. There’s hope that in this new Congress they’ll be enough momentum to enact it as law. I’m not sure how there’s a rational case to the contrary. I’m not sure how the destruction of animals doesn’t arrive in the level of a felony with the aforementioned language. Second, given the pervasiveness of animal abuse being a precursor to domestic violence, up to and including murder, how many additional crimes can be prevented by putting away those who abuse animals? Do you want to take a chance with animal abusers in your neighborhood? Our schools, etc.? I’ll be tracking the progress of this act in hopes that it becomes law sooner rather than later.