from ASPCA news-alert -
Congratulations to everyone who called, wrote and worked
so hard to pass this legislation!
On June 30, Governor Jesse Ventura signed into law a
bill, authored by Senator Don Betzold and Representative James Clark,
that increases Minnesota's penalties for intentional torture or cruelty
to companion animals. Explains Nancy Minion, president of Second Chance
Animal Rescue, the
new law "was a long time coming for animal protection
advocates who began this initiative at the Legislature five years ago."
Effective August 1, 2001, new penalties for intentional
acts of cruelty increase as the harm to the animal increases:
* An act of cruelty that results in great bodily harm or
death to a companion animal carries a felony charge and a maximum
penalty of up to two years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.
* An act of cruelty resulting in substantial bodily harm
is considered a gross misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one
year in prison, a $3,000 fine, or both.
* The penalties are elevated for intentional cruelty to
service animals, such as hearing and seeing eye dogs.
* If the act of cruelty is done in a manner to threaten,
intimidate or terrorize a person, the maximum penalty for substantial
bodily harm increases to two years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both;
the maximum penalty for great bodily harm or death increases to four
years, a $10,000 fine, or both.
"What a wonderful victory for Minnesota!" exclaims
Minion. "There were many individuals and organizations who were crucial
to this victory, particularly those who testified at hearings," she
says. "Humane societies, veterinarians and animal control officers made
the plight of abused and neglected animals real to legislators. Many
volunteers lobbied the 201 legislators throughout the 2001 session.
Letters and phone calls from supporters all over the state poured into
Go on to Victory In
Return to 15 July 2001 Issue
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