States, Even Feds Propose Crackdowns on Animal Abuse

One even creates an abuser registry like the one for sex offenders

A bill proposed in North Carolina would treat animal abusers kind of like child abusers. Virginia would make them felons. Even the federal government wants to be able to go after abusers.

CBS says the North Carolina bill would put animal abusers' names and faces on an online registry, much like a sex offender registry. If the North Carolina Animal Abuser Registry Act becomes a law, beginning in 2020, anyone in the state who abuses an animal would have their name and photograph put on an on-line registry for two years. A second offense would put the abuser on the list for five years.

It's just one of a number of laws and proposed bills that would treat animal abusers much more harshly. Virginia's governor just signed into law a bill that increases animal abuse from a misdemeanor to a felony, which calls for jail time.

North Carolina would put animal abusers on a registry. Virginia will make them felons.

Even the feds are considering getting in the game. CNN and the Richmond Times Democrat report five lawmakers -- Democrats and a Republicans, including Pennsylvania's Sen. Pat Toomey -- have proposed a bill that will make animal cruelty a federal felony. Federal law already prohibits animal fighting and criminalizes animal cruelty if the abusers create and sell videos of the abuse.

"This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws." Rep. Ted Deutch D-Florida

This legislation seeks to outlaw the practice of "crushing" animals. According to the Times-Democrat crushing is the act of torturing small animals such as kittens, mice and puppies. Videos of the act circulating on the internet often show women in high heels stepping on live animals. Other crush videos have shown the animals being burned alive or nailed to a floor.

All 50 states have animal abuse laws, but only a law at the federal level can cover abuse across state lines.

The federal bill would also cover animal abuse that occurs across state lines and on federal property. If you'd like to let your federal lawmakers know how you feel about this bill, click here to find out how to e-mail them.

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