The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 179
“An Act relating to cruelty to animals and making failure to care for five or more animals in a single continuous episode a class C felony.”
Posted: January 21, 2011 : v27-LS0567-A
Status: (H) FIN : 2011-04-04
Under current law, each neglected animal constitutes a separate offense, but these offenses are only misdemeanors. I would like the gravity of the charge to reflect the gravity of the situation. As such, HB 179 makes it a Class C felony to criminally neglect five or more animals at the same time.
We have seen several cases throughout the state where people take on tens, sometimes hundreds, of animals with no reasonable expectation that they can adequately care for them all. People should be allowed to have as many pets as they like, but they should also be expected to care for these animals. Each time our authorities have to remove multiple animals, it shocks our collective conscience and overwhelms our animal rescue capabilities. We must strengthen our laws to discourage this type of behavior. As such, I respectfully request your support for HB 179.