Should We Have Harsher Animal Cruelty Laws?

Do you support animal cruelty laws?

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Do you support animal cruelty laws?

Mason Barish, Staff Writer

Domesticated animals are often considered to be a part of the family, and treated as such in most cases. However, there are other cases where these animals are not treated as well. In most states, animal cruelty is considered a felony, and can net the perpetrator a maximum of 10 years in prison and a minimum of just 1 year. Penalties can range from a measly $1,000 to $150,000.  In addition , according to HG, aggravated assault can usually land someone a sentence of 10-20 years. However, in the state of North Carolina, the fine for animal cruelty is decided by the court and the maximum prison sentence can come in at around only a year in prison. In some cases, the act is only seen as a misdemeanor and not a felony. Many are asking whether the penalty for animal cruelty should be harsher in the state of North Carolina.

In my opinion, the punishment for animal cruelty should definitely be harsher than it is now, and it should also be more serious than the aggravated assault punishment. The minimum amount of years should land somewhere between 25-30 years. The offender should also never be allowed to own an animal again, something which seems like a no-brainer, but isn’t included in North Carolina’s laws. The fine should still be court determined, but I think it should at least start at a $500 minimum and go from there.

What is defined as animal cruelty in North Carolina? According to the chart from the humane society, it is defined as “intentional deprivation leading to death of animal; or maliciously and results in death of animal.” Another thing to consider is that the abuse of animals is also a common sign of mental illness. Given these signs, it is needed that we have harsher punishments, due to animal cruelty being a pathway to more crime.

Overall, animal cruelty is a much more serious issue than our laws in NC make it out to be. Animals can be treated the same as kids, and child abuse is seen as an extremely serious issue. I think that animal cruelty needs harsher penalties if we want it to stop. The act itself can also show problems with the perpetrator themselves, and if there are repeated offenses, then they should be sent to a mental institution or therapy. Currently, North Carolina shares the lowest penalty for animal cruelty in the country with other states. We’re too lenient, and there needs to be a higher fine for those that purposely abuse other living creatures. Whether they are sadistic or use it as displacement of anger, it is undoubtedly twisted and criminal.

For more information about animal cruelty laws, please see the link: