State legislative summaries
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August, 2002:
A felony cruelty penalty and a statewide system of
registration, regulation, and inspection governing private animal
rescuers take effect in Virginia on July 1.
The felony cruelty provision applies only to deliberately
fatal injuries inflicted upon owned pet dogs or cats. Offenders may
be jailed for up to five years.
The bill governing rescuers was requested by the Virginia
Federation of Humane Societies in response to complaints about lost
animals not being reunited with their families, because the
discovery of the animals running at large was never reported to local
shelters. The bill also anticipates the possibility that dogfighters
may use “breed rescue” as cover to obtain animals, a scam recently
uncovered in several other states.
Objected Sharyn and Walt Hutchins of TimbreBlue Whippets &
Collies, in Lexington, Virginia, “This law allows warrantless
inspections of rescuers’ homes, requires us to post our names,
phone numbers and addresses at the pounds in our service areas, pay
for listing in our local phone books, register with the state vet,
and pay $100 a year for the privilege of rescuing dogs. Many
rescuers who live alone, are disabled, or have small children will
give up rescue,” they predicted, rather than comply.
ANIMAL PEOPLE asked the Virginia Federation of Humane
Societies to comment, but received no response.
Colorado Governor Bill Owens on June 7 signed into law an
anti-crime legislative package that creates two levels of felony
penalty for aggravated cruelty to animals.
The Connecticut state legislature on June 24 opted against
trying to overturn Governor John G. Rowland’s veto of a bill that
would have banned 24-hour-a-day dog chaining–but Fred Leeson of the
Portland Oregonian reported on June 21 that the board of
commissioners in Multnomah County, Oregon, was expected to
unanimously approve a similar measure at their June 27 meeting. The
Connecticut and Multnomah County bills both follow the adoption of
parallel legislation in numerous communities in British Columbia,
The New York state legislature on June 21 sent to Governor
George Pataki a bill to ban the slaughter and sale of either dog or
cat meat for human consumption. “The bill got a boost from the
revelation last fall that some Korean-American farmers in Sullivan
County had sold dog meat,” James C. McKinley Jr. of The New York
Times reported. However, ANIMAL PEOPLE and New York Post reporter
Don Kaplan found in separate investigations that the one documented
sale was solicited by associates of Channel 11 TV reporter Polly
Kreisman–and the dog sold was a coyote, shot by a local hunter.
Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano on June 5 signed into law a ban
on feeding sharks and advertising shark-feeding to attract tourists
to nature cruises and dive sites.
New Jersey acting governor Donald T. DeFrancsco on June 12
signed into law expanding the state definition of “dangerous dog” to
include dogs who attack other animals, as well as dogs who attack