50th District State Senator Steve McClure has filed legislation to crack down on abusers of pets. McClure said he filed the bill because animal abuse perpetrators are treated like a person who has committed a second retail theft, a battery incident, or disorderly conduct. McClure sees the laws against animal abusers unjust because those who torture, abuse, and kill pets are given too light of a sentence.
Under current law, aggravated abuse of a companion animal or pet is a Class 4 felony. McClure’s legislation, Senate Bill 2995, would make the offense a more serious Class 2 felony if the abuse leads to the death of the pet. A second or subsequent offense would be an even more serious Class 1 felony. The legislation would not include cases of self-defense or instances where a pet is euthanized.
McClure said in a press release that when he was an assistant state’s attorney, he prosecuted many several terrible animal abuse crimes and that the perpetrators of those crimes off went on to do more violent harm to the general public. McClure noted the large number of recent cases of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect as signs that more action needs to be taken.