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The Companion Animal Protection Act

Tougher Penalties for Animal Cruelty

Congressman Kucinich, as a member of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, you know that animals can feel pain. The animal cruelty laws in this country are extremely deficient. Here are some examples:

March 2008 a Huntland, TN man confessed to being a part of a dog fighting ring. Five dogs were seized and one was in such poor shape he had to be euthanized. The man was not charged with a crime.

Josh Coman of Witchita, KS sodomized a dog and got 6 months probation. The following year he was convicted again for sodomizing a dog. For his second offense, he was only charged with a misdemeanor.

Mark Keyser of Lopatcong, NJ put two dogs in a trash bag and threw them in the garbage. One of the dogs died as a result. The other dog was malnourished, had matted fur and and badly infected eyes. Keyser was sentenced to only 14 days in jail.

Across the country, there are cases upon cases like these where animals are cruelly treated and the perpetrators only get a slap on the wrist. You have the power to change this by introducing a bill that makes torturing, maiming, or killing a companion animal a federal offense, punishable by a mandatory jail sentence.

Animals aren't the only victims of these heinous crimes. Many of them are owned by people who love them and regard them as family members. Statistics show a strong correlation between animal cruelty and violent offenses against people, such as serial killings, rapes and murders. A tough federal law to punish and deter animal cruelty would not only benefit animals, it would help people too.

We urge you to support a bill to make cruelty to companion animals a federal offense that carries a mandatory prison sentence of no less than five years. Without such a law there is no deterrence for the criminals who commit these horrible acts and there is no justice for the victims, either animal or human.

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