Plan to expand animal cruelty penalties for people in Virginia


RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Animal rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia continue to be a hot topic during this year’s General Assembly.

A new house bill proposed by Del. Joseph C. Lindsey (D) is looking to expanding current laws already on the books in Virginia.

The following excerpt is a summary of the proposed legislation.

  • Cruelty to animals; serious bodily injury; first offense; penalty. Provides that a person who commits an act of animal cruelty that results in serious bodily injury to or the death or euthanasia of an animal is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Current law requires that the person have been convicted of an act of cruelty within the past five years and that an animal die as a direct result of the current or past act of cruelty before the violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill expands the authority of a court to order anger management treatment from cases of misdemeanor cruelty to all cases. The bill contains technical amendments.

The bill is in addition to “Tommie’s Law.”

Governor Ralph Northam signed that legislation last year, following the reports of a dog being doused with gasoline, and being burnt alive in Richmond.

RELATED STORY: Gov. Northam signs ‘Tommie’s Law,’ increasing punishment for animal cruelty cases

You can learn more about the new proposal HERE.

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