Iowa bill aims to make animal torture an automatic felony
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A bill introduced in the state legislature would make animal torture an automatic felony. Iowa is the only state that doesn’t do this currently. Animal torture in Iowa is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
Linn County Democrat Molly Donahue introduced House File 2104 after hearing the story a Kimble, a Cedar Rapids puppy who was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly by his owner.
“The young man who had caused that violent crime to that dog did not receive much of a penalty because we don’t have the felony,” Donahue said.
Kimble’s owner got a 2 year prison sentence for Animal Abuse, and was not charged with torture.
Preston Moore, Iowa State Director at The Humane Society says more abuse cases in the state may be considered torture if the penalty was greater.
”Because the abuse crime and the torture crime are essentially at the same level, prosecutors are are typically opting to go for that abuse charge because it’s a little easier to prove,” Moore explained.
In 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds enhanced Iowa’s animal cruelty laws for the first time in decades, but making torture a felony got left out at that time.
”There’s some push back, or has been push back in the past due to farmers being concerned about how it would effect their livelihood. And this does not effect their livelihood whatsoever,” Donahue said.
She believes people willing to hurt animals are willing to hurt people, and says the bill would ultimately make society safer.
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