Coalition for Animal Justice

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The Federal Law We Propose:

The Companion Animal Protection Act

Declarations of Purpose:

There is abundant evidence that there is a nationwide problem of intentional acts of violence and cruelty against companion animals. The vast majority of offenders do not receive adequate punishment. Most of those who have committed violent acts of cruelty have been given probation, community service, a small fine or no punishment at all. At present, the state laws carry only maximum sentences which means that there is a ceiling on the punishment and the offenders can easily be let off the hook. We propose a federal law that imposes a mandatory minimum sentence for intentional acts of cruelty and violence against companion animals. This law is designed to prevent, deter and punish anyone who commits a violent or sadistic act against those species traditionally classified as companion animals, as defined in Section 1 below. 

Definitions:

1) Companion Animal: All animals commonly thought of as pets including, but not limited to, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, pet birds, and aquarium fish.

2) Cruelty: Any act committed by a person with the intention of causing pain, injury or death to a companion animal including, but not limited to, mutilation, torture, rape, sodomy, setting on fire, burning alive, kicking, hitting, punching, strangling, tail pulling, dogfighting, use as bait or food for other animals, stepping or stomping on, poisoning, smashing against walls or concrete or other hard surfaces, decapitation, amputation of limbs, removal of internal organs, skinning, removal of ears or tails or eyes or other body parts, and spraying with caustic substances. 

Sentencing:

Cruelty to companion animals as defined in this Act will carry a mandatory prison sentence of not less than 5 years and up to a maximum of 25 years without possibility for parole. A second conviction will carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years and up to a maximum sentence of 50 years without possibility for parole.

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