Indiana: House Bill related to animal cruelty crimes passes committee

Indiana: Bill related to animal cruelty crimes passes committee
Updated: Mar. 26, 2019 at 6:57 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - An Indiana House Bill related to animal cruelty crimes passed committee Tuesday morning.

Although part of it had to be amended, local animal activists say clearing this hurdle is a huge victory.

Missy Mosby, with Hoosiers Unite for Animals Rights, attended the hearing in Indianapolis.

She tells 14 News despite years of hard work, they’ve never gotten a measure this far.

The vote was unanimous.

“We’re tired of this going unpunishable,” Mosby said.

Many people who work with animals daily will tell you Indiana needs tougher penalties when it comes animal cruelty.

"Anytime we can give our animal control officers, our police officers, our prosecutors office more tools to be able to fight the incidents of animal cruelty in our state, the better,” Vanderburgh Humane Society Executive Director Kendall Paul explained.

Changes made to the language in House Bill 1615 may make it more clear when it comes to punishments, which amended and created certain definitions for those offenses, such as changing some of the wording including replacing mistreat with harm and removing the word “strike.”

Missy Mosby says only two weeks ago, they were told they were not getting a hearing. But additional bill amendments were made, including taking out the penalties which would classify some crimes as a felony.

Still she’s proud of the progress. “So to get the hearing in the state representative, get that to pass committee, get it on the floor, get it to pass, and then to finally get a hearing with the senators to pass it out of committee, it’s just amazing,” Mosby added.

The bill is authored by Representative Ryan Hatfield.

He outlined two primary purposes Tuesday morning.

The next step will take it to a vote on the floor.

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