Recently, several cases of animal abuse, specifically dogs, have gone viral in the US. The death of Dior at the hands of Shembo and the horrific abuse suffered by Caitlyn have caused animal lovers to respond with disgust and anger for the humans responsible. But, the problem remains that punishments for such crimes aren’t harsh enough to deter such abominable behavior. An annual report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund noted that while 3/4 of US states and territories have found ways to improve their animal protection laws, the rest are still very much lacking. South Carolina, where Caitlyn is located, ranks a meager 45th. This caused issues when officials considered offering a reward for information in her case, because the perpetrator could have actually benefited monetarily from turning himself in versus the punishment he would actually receive.
Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Iowa, and Kentucky were at the bottom of the list for lacking a variety of even the most basic of animal protection laws, while Illinois, Maine, Oregon, California, and Michigan ranked the best. These states have consistently enacted laws protecting animals from cruelty, neglect, abandonment, sexual assault, and organized fighting. All states, however, have made it a felony to engage in repeated or aggravated animal neglect. Still, other countries in the world, such as Switzerland and Germany, have much stronger laws, and it’s time for the US to join them. On the federal level, we are lacking and state-specific laws are too variable. What you can do is reach out to your legislators and let them know that, as a constituent, this issue is important to you. Let your representatives know that animals deserve a voice! Here’s the official page to find your reps and get in touch: USA.Gov
In the meanwhile, all we can do is hope that those charged in these pending cases will get more than just the proverbial slap on the wrist.