President Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

Bill does have some limitations

President Trump signs a bill making animal cruelty a federal felony. The President signed the bill yesterday, but there are still a few limitations of this bill.

“I think it’s outstanding I just don’t think it’s enough yet.” That’s Mary Green with Golden Paw Pet Resort in Joplin. Over her years with the agency, she’s seen her fair share of animal abuse situations. “Some of the animals that are just brought in here that are just left to starve, or left to freeze, or, they’re not being tortured on film or crushed on film, but, they’re being neglected to death.”

And that’s where the ‘Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture’, or ‘PACT Act’, has limitations. Green says “This still only covers video footage, if someone videos them abusing an animal, it’s the only thing it covers.”

The PACT Act makes animal abuse a federal felony, which under the act, a person can face a fine or up to seven years in prison, or both.

But, as Green mentioned, it currently only covers video of animal “crushing” which is defined in the act as crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or otherwise subjecting an animal to serious bodily injury.

For law enforcement, they welcome the assistance of the federal government. Captain Nick Jimenez says “Having those resources available to us if do run into a heinous case of any kind of animal abuse to be able to call on those resources to assist us is going to be beneficial.”

For Captain Nick Jimenez, animal abuse is particularly personal. “As anybody who’s had a pet, or been affected by any kind of animal abuse it’s very important to us, as a former K-9 handler, I take the safety of pets extremely, extremely personal.”

For Mary, she’s just happy to see steps like this being taken to protect animals. “I’d say it’s making some great strides to stop what’s going on and to make people aware.”

Jimenez says he’s also grateful for the support of the animal control division in Joplin, who he says, makes their job, a little easier.

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