2016 Rankings For Animal Cruelty Laws And Convictions Are Out–NY (With Some Of The Worst Hoarding Cases) Has Slipped To #41
By Dave Levine
The 2016 Animal Cruelty Rankings By State are out at Animal Legal Defense Fund and they aren’t pretty!
Rhode Island passed new, tougher laws which brought it into “the best” category. Wisconsin was “the most improved state” jumping 14 places. Illinois remains at #1, Oregon #2, Maine #3 and California #4.
Here’s what they reported in part:
Rhode Island broke into the “Best Five” in 2016, in part, by passing a new
felony animal cruelty provision for first-time offenders, triggered when cruelty results in the animal’s death, and
increasing penalties for malicious injury to an animal. Wisconsin was the most‐improved state in 2016, jumping fourteen places in rank, in part, by passing a comprehensive cost‐of‐care law, mandating reimbursement of the costs of caring for a cruelly treated animal to the caregiving agency prior to the disposition of the case. While 25 states require reimbursement of costs of care after the
offender is convicted, only 16 states require reimbursement prior to, or regardless of, a criminal conviction. “For animals in distress as a result of criminal abuse or neglect, daily care and attention to their most basic needs—food, shelter, and veterinary care—is critical to those animals’ rehabilitation,” says Lora Dunn, Interim Director and Senior Staff Attorney for the Animal Legal
Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program. “Costs‐of‐care legislation is absolutely essential to ensure that caregiving agencies
can continue to provide this much‐needed care to animal victims for the days, weeks, months—even years—until the disposition of the case, during which time these costs can mount to astronomical levels.” The 2016 RANKINGS REPORT also highlights legislation granting civil
immunity to civilians who remove animals from vehicles in emergency situations. Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin all enacted these “reckless endangerment” provisions this year, with Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin extending immunity to civilians who rescue animals from enclosed vehicles after takingcertain required steps (such as calling 9‐1‐1), and Virginia granting immunity to some first‐responders. Twenty‐four states now offer some form of civil immunity for the removal of animals from vehicles in these emergency situations.
Kudos to ALDF for posting this news! Sorry about the spacing above but it’s from their pdf.