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ALERT UPDATE: LRB 2804 IS NOW AB 520/SB 469, TO MAKE CAUSING GREVIOUS BODILY HARM OR DEATH TO AN ANIMAL A CLASS I FELONY

Updated 10/9/19
 

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A puppy victim of abuse     On 10/4/19, a VERY important bill , authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski, Senator Jeff Smith, and Representative John Spiros, was introduced into the WI State Senate: SB 469, relating to: grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal and providing a penalty. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

     On 10/8/19, the companion bill was introduced into the WI State Assembly: AB 520, relating to: grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal and providing a penalty. It has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.

     Cosponsors of the bill are: Senators Petrowski, Smith, Carpenter, Jacque, Johnson, Risser, L. Taylor, Wanggaard and Cowles, and Representatives Spiros, Kulp, Anderson, Duchow, Edming, Krug, Milroy, Ramthun, Rodriguez, Sinicki, Skowronski, Steffen, Subeck, Tusler, Vruwink, Zimmerman and C. Taylor.

     AB 520/SB 469 would make it a Class I felony if someone commits an act of animal abuse that they know or should reasonably know may result in grievous bodily harm or death of an animal, regardless of whether that harm or death actually occurs. In addition, the bill would require a court to prohibit a person from owning, possessing, training, or residing with any animal for a specified period of time if they are convicted of felony animal abuse.

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Bill Summary (by the Legislative Reference Bureau):

Sexual abuse of animals is no joke.     "Under current law, a person who commits an act of animal abuse is subject to a Class C forfeiture, unless the animal abuse results in the mutilation, disfigurement, or death of the animal, in which case the person is guilty of a Class I felony. Under this bill, a person who commits an act of animal abuse is guilty of a Class I felony if the animal abuse results in grievous bodily harm to or the death of the animal or if the person knows or reasonably should know that the animal abuse may result in grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal, regardless of whether grievous bodily harm or death occurs.

     "Under current law, a court may order that a person who commits an act of animal abuse may not own, possess, or train any animal or type or species of animal for a period specified by the court, but not to exceed five years. Under the bill, the court may enter such an order, including an order that the person may not reside with any animal or type or species of animal, if the person is convicted of a misdemeanor violation, and must enter such an order, including an order that the person may not reside with any animal or type or species of animal, for a period of up to fifteen years if the person is convicted of a felony violation. "

 

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WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Blue- eyed dog     General guidelines for contacting your representatives: Try to keep your message brief, and be sure to give your name, address, and phone number. Let your representative know that you are a constituent. Please, ALWAYS be polite and respectful. Name-calling, and rude or abusive letters or emails will hurt, rather than help, our cause.

  • Please contact both your WI State Senator and State Representative and ask for their SUPPORT of SB 469. You can find your representatives at: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/

    • If they have already signed on as co-sponsors (see Co-Sponsor list above), please THANK them and let them know you also support AB 520/SB 469.

    • If they are not listed as co-sponsors, ask them to "Please support AB 520/SB 469, relating to: grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal and providing a penalty."

  • If you want to give reasons for your position, please see our Talking Points below!

  • Also, please post your request/thanks on your Representative's Facebook page!

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Talking Points:

His eyes are on you.     Here is the text of a co-sponsorship memo sent to All Legislators, from Representative John Spiros and Senators Jerry Petrowski and Jeff Smith:

     "In February 2019, a Marshfield man placed nine newborn puppies into a trash bag and put them in a dumpster. Luckily, someone heard noises coming from the dumpster and contacted the Marshfield Police Department, who was able to save the puppies. Given the cold temperatures that time of year and the fact that the puppies were only one day old, they would surely have died quickly had someone not found them.

     "The Marshfield man was arrested and charged with intentional mistreatment of animals and intentional abandonment of animals. Both of these crimes are misdemeanors.

     "Under current Wisconsin law, these types of crimes can only be charged with a felony if the action of the defendant resulted in the mutilation, disfigurement, or death of an animal. And while in this case the perpetrator clearly knew his actions were likely to result in the death of the puppies, he can only be charged with a misdemeanor.

     "This bill would remedy that by saying that a person is guilty of a Class I felony if they commit an act of animal abuse that they know or should reasonably know may result in grievous bodily harm of death of an animal, regardless of whether that harm or death actually occurs.

     "Additionally, current law states that a court MAY order that a person who commits an act of animal abuse may not own, possess, or train any animal for a specified period of time. This bill would REQUIRE a court to prohibit a person from owning, possessing, training, or residing with any animal for a specified period of time if they are convicted of felony animal abuse. [emphasis ours].

     "As is the case with the Marshfield man who abandoned the puppies, many animal abusers have other animals at home. And despite their crimes, they are able to keep their animals after a conviction. This bill would ensure the most serious animal abusers are not able to continue to have animals in their home."


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