Animal cruelty bill signed in to law in Mississippi making crimes a felony

On Wednesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, signed into law a bill to protect cats and dogs and raise penalties for abuse, making abuse cases a felony in the state.

Mississippi Citizens Against Animal Cruelty (MCAAC) is a group who formed to push bills like these into laws, and it’s a day that has been long awaited. Now, each act of cruelty that is committed against more than one animal will count as a separate offense.

Animal cruelty will now be considered a felony, and will come with hefty fines, prison time, and psychological counseling.

If a person shall intentionally or with criminal
negligence wound, deprive of adequate shelter, food or water, or
carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated dog or cat,
or cause any person to do the same, then he or she shall be guilty
of the offense of simple cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat. A
person who is convicted of the offense of simple cruelty to a
domesticated dog or cat shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined
not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both.

If a person with malice shall intentionally
3orture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve * * * to death, crush,
disfigure, drown, suffocate or impale any domesticated dog or cat,
or cause any person to do the same, then he or she shall be guilty
of the offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat. Each act of aggravated cruelty that is committed against more than
one (1) domesticated dog or cat shall constitute a separate offense.
( * * *ii) A person who is convicted of a first
offense of aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat shall
be guilty of a * * * felony and fined not more than * * * Five
Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or * * * committed to the custody of
the Department of Corrections for not more than * * * three (3)
years, or both.

If a person is convicted of this animal abuse crime, they will also be added to the FBI’s watch list.

Animal rescues and support groups throughout Mississippi rejoiced for this decision, and many happy tears were shed from finally seeing this goal be reached.

Jon Ross Myers

Jon Ross Myers is the executive editor and publisher of the Mississippi News Network, Mississippi's largest digital only media company. He can be reached at editor@tippahnews.com

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