Bills would strengthen penalties for animal abuse

Apr 19, 2013

LANSING, MI (AP)--   People who abuse animals would face tougher penalties under legislation headed to the Senate floor.  

The legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week would expand prohibitions against animal abuse and neglect to breeders and pet shop owners. It also defines first-, second-, and third-degree crimes of killing or torturing animals.

A person charged with animal abuse or neglect involving 25 or more animals could face up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 500 hours of community service. Currently, the top penalty for crimes involving ten or more animals is four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and 500 community service hours. 

The bill now heads to the Senate.