Lawmakers Cracking Down on Animal Cruelty

A new law being considered in Olympia expands the definition of animal cruelty and beefs up the penalties for convictions. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Washington state law already regards cruelty to animals as a crime, but a bipartisan bill heard Tuesday in the House Public Safety Committee takes the behavior even more seriously. That legislation identifies a number of offenses, including several dealing with human-to-animal sexual conduct. Democratic state Representative Sherry Appleton was a sponsor of the House version of Senate bill 6300, and she said lawmakers are more aware now of the direct link between cruelty to animals and crimes of violence against humans.

APPLETON: “If it was done to a human we would put that person in jail. But if it’s done to an animal we seem to look the other way. And it scares me to think that there are people out there who have hurt animals and they’re not being called to take responsibility for what they’re doing.”

The bill is scheduled for a vote of the full committee Thursday and could go to the House floor not long afterward. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.