December 27, 2018
In July of 2018, a nine-year-old Yorkie with cataracts in both eyes was found in a zipped up bag in a ditch alongside the road in Marion County, West Virginia. Although his case was dire, the local community and animal welfare organizations rallied around him and raised thousands of dollars to remove his cataracts and nurse him back to health. Now named Winston, he is flourishing with a new family while his tragic story is making big changes to how West Virginia views animal abuse.
Titled “Winston’s Bill,” this law would make it easier for prosecutors to seek felony convictions against animal abusers, even when it is difficult to prove the actor did or did not intend to inflict pain on the animal. The bill would also add a felony charge to repeat offenders, rather than give multiple misdemeanor charges to the same offenders committing the same crimes.
The bill is in its very early stages in the senate. However, supporters hope to have more bipartisan support in the beginning of 2019 to make this bill a reality.
Take Action: West Virginians, contact your state senators and urge them to support “Winston’s Bill” and other animal welfare legislation!