To State Sen. John Kavanagh (F-Fountain Hills) of Arizona for introducing a bill to heighten punishment offenders who abuse and/or kill companion animals.
Last year in Maricopca County, Arizona, a man stabbed a puppy to death and left the animal’s severed head on a table for his girlfriend to see upon returning to the residence. The offender was charged and pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty, but was only sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of supervised probation.
According to a recent news article, a new state bill in Arizona (SB1295) would allow harsher punishments for egregious animal cruelty offenders. SB1295 was sponsored by Arizona Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. Under current law, even severe animal cruelty in Arizona is at most, charged as a Class 6 felony, but is often lowered to a misdemeanor incurring little to no jail time. Under SB1295, those who intentionally and knowingly subject a companion animal to cruel mistreatment could be charged with a Class 5 felony. A Class 5 felony cannot be dropped to a misdemeanor, and a conviction could be punishable by an 18-month sentence.
Take action. Arizona residents, contact your senators and urge them to support SB1295. Feel free to use NHES’ sample action letter below.
Re: SB1295 To Allow Class 5 Felony Charges Against Companion Animal Abusers
Dear Senator __________,
I am writing to express my support of SB1295, a bill to allow Class 5 felony animal cruelty charges in Arizona. Depraved acts committed against animals are frequently committed before or alongside child abuse, intimate partner violence, and even homicide. Offenders of this kind are well and long-recognized by law enforcement and criminal psychologists as a threat not only to animals, but people as well. The willful mutilation and and killing of a companion animal is a serious violent crime, and I hope that you will support SB1295 in recognition of this reality.
Thank you for your consideration,