It’s Official: Animal Cruelty Is Now A Federal Felony Offense

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They say that good things come to those who wait. And in the case of poor, defenseless animals, they’ve waited long enough. Day after day we hear heartbreaking stories of animals being abused, neglected, and mistreated. And cases of animal hoarding that makes our jaws drop. For any person that loves and respects animals, it breaks our hearts. The animal cruelty needs to stop.

Congress has heard our cries loud and clear, and this week, they took firm action.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla introduced the bill, making it known that these unspeakable animal cruelty acts against our four-legged friends will no longer be tolerated.

And in the eyes of the law, it will be more than a simple slap on the wrist.

In a statement this week regarding the bill, Rep. Ted Deutch said:

“This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the President’s signature.”

“Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice. Law enforcement officers have sought a federal overlay to help them stop animal abusers who are likely to commit acts of violence against people. And animal lovers everywhere know this is simply the right thing to do.”

So for anyone that abuses an animal and is convicted, they will be slapped with a federal felony charge.

Animal cruelty is never acceptable. And we’re glad that it’s being taken seriously in the eyes of our government. This is a landmark move that will prove to keep pets and other animals from danger.

Better yet, violators could face up to seven years in prison under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

No more slaps on the wrist for people who abuse animals is a win in my book! Animals depend on us to be their voices, and we are thankful for the unanimous decision made by the House of Representatives.

Representatives Ted Deutch, left, and Vern Buchanan, sponsors of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla, said in a statement:

“This is a landmark bill that establishes for the first time a federal offense against the malicious torturing of animals.”

A fact sheet shared regarding the bill against animal cruelty, shared by Rep. Ted Deutch’s office:

Richard Patch, ASPCA’s vice president of federal affairs, told USA Today:

“With the House passage of the PACT Act, we are one step closer to a federal law protecting animals from one of the most brutal acts of cruelty, and we thank Representatives Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan for introducing this bill as well as their continued leadership on animal protection.”

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

This shows the world that we Americans think animals are important and that all lives should be treated equally. And for those who don’t agree, justice will be served. 

If you’d like to read the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act bill in its entirety, you can do so here.

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  1. Hate to disappoint you but this legislation will be added to the 400+ pieces of House legislation that Senator mcconnell is refusing to bring to the floor for a vote.
    Please encourage people to call their Senators urging them to put pressure on the majority leader to bring up for vote and from them to vote yes.
    Thank you

  2. This is the best thing for protecting animals. People that abuse animals also abuse other people. I have heard too many people brag about it. Companion animals are so important to our lives.

    • Good point, Daniel. I will be contacting my Senator on Monday and express my support for this bill. We all ought to do that to enhance the chances of this becoming a law.

  3. The federal law does not prevent and leaves a big gap allowing for animals to still be “relocated” (actual theft and abandonment of others peoples animals, by taking without permission). Leav8ng the perpetrator free of any criminal charges and the animal owner/caretaker on the hook for emotion and financial losses

  4. That’s right, Francine. I believe there’s a shocking statistic that shows 69% of those that abuse animals, abuse children and / significant others. Also, human history shows that when we improve conditions for animals by law, new laws are created, or existing laws strengthened, to improve human conditions. Bravo, U.S. Representatives!

  5. Um, sorry, but 7th grade Civics. A bill passing in the house has to go to the Senate which has to approve it, or maybe be compromised in Conference Committee for approval by both houses of Congress. Then it has to be signed off on by the President —unless vetoed and the both houses of Congress to be approved by a supermajority to override the veto. So no, this is not law and these actions, although seriously vile, are not, and likely will not become federal crimes with this administration and congress.

  6. Until you-know-who signs this bill into law, our animals are still subject to cruelty. Do we know if he has taken the time to sign it? If the Senate has okayed it, then McConnell should be sending it to the Oval Office to put it into action.

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Written by Modi Ramos

Crazy cat lady since birth and lover of all things feline. Owner of CattitudeDaily and former Editor of iHeartCats. Meow!

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