Missouri bill would require evaluations in some animal abuse cases

Bill addresses mental health of animal abusers
Missouri bill would require evaluations in some animal abuse cases

A Missouri house committee is looking at a bill that would allow judges to order people convicted of animal abuse to undergo treatments that could include psychiatric or psychological evaluations.

Republican Rep. Chrissy Sommer, from St. Charles told the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee on Monday that the bill addresses the mental health of people who abuse animals.

The legislation would require judges to order evaluations if the crime involves torture or mutilation of an animal, or if the person has previous animal abuse convictions.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports judges would have the option of ordering evaluations for first-time offenders, who would pay for the treatment.

Bob Baker, executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, said the legislation could be useful in animal hoarding situations.