Archive for Sunday, January 22, 2006

Legislators want steeper penalties for animal cruelty

Kansas is one of nine states that treat animal abuse as a misdemeanor

January 22, 2006


— Two lawmakers say they hope this will be the year to pass legislation cracking down on animal cruelty.

Two bills have been introduced, both increasing punishments for anyone abusing an animal, and another, which has been drafted, is expected to be introduced soon.

"The intent of this measure would be to find those offenders who take some joy in seeing something living tortured, maimed or killed so that we might prosecute and track them better as felons," Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, said.

His proposal would make extreme cruelty to animals a felony, a conviction that would remain permanently on an offender's record.

The other bill, proposed by Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, would require animal torturers to undergo psychological evaluation, serve a county jail sentence, and have a sample of their DNA entered into a crime database.

Kansas is one of nine states that treat animal abuse as a misdemeanor, regardless how intentional or barbaric the abuse.

Haley started pushing for the changes in 1997, when a small terrier in Kansas City named Scruffy was tortured and killed.

Scruffy "was tortured to death by three grown men who videotaped their actions as they doused the small terrier in gasoline, put him in a garbage bag, slammed the bag many times on the ground, opened the bag, dumped the dog out, and put a match to him and put him out by beating him to death with shovels, all the time laughing, seemingly enjoying his agony," Haley said. "I thought it was horrendous and became interested in this issue."

Journey sponsored his bill after a Wichita incident just last year. A puppy named Magnum was found in a trash can with bound feet, a broken leg and large chemical burns. Within the next few days several more puppies were discovered in a similar condition.

Journey said he intended his bill to protect people, not just pets. That's why he wants to require the psychological evaluation and DNA registry.

"It is quite clear that there are instances where individuals have sadistically abused animals and then graduated to people and became serial murderers," Journey said.

Under Journey's bill, a first-time offense is not a felony. He said making a first-time offense a felony would make the bill more difficult to get approved.

The third animal cruelty bill would make animal cruelty a felony, but a felony similar to a DUI. The person would not receive more than a year in jail.

Journey calls this a felony "only by name." This bill also requires a psychological evaluation.

All three bills are expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but no hearings have been set.


Jamesaust 12 years, 2 months ago

Psychological evaluation and DNA registry are important because abuse of animals is a frequent precursor to development of sadistic murderers.

lunacydetector 12 years, 2 months ago

is an unborn human considered an animal as well?

mushfish 12 years, 2 months ago

You are a sick man, mr conserativeman. Haven't you ever had a pet and looked in their eyes and seen the unconditional love they give? They are not property, one can not own a living, free spirit, a life. It's sick people like yourself that beat and mutalate poor defenseless animals. I'm all for this legislation. Peace, p.s..... You strike me as an overzealous christian, am I right.

willie_wildcat 12 years, 2 months ago

None2 and mushfish are absolutely correct. Animals are not property and legislation to punish those who harm animals is not a waste conservativeman. They cannot fight back like we can with a weapon or our fists. It's sick that someone can put a cat on a bbq and set it on fire and laugh about it. Im behind this 100% and I hope it gets passed. And none2 is right bout the fundies. If they were so pro-life as they claim to be then abortion would have been banned a long time ago.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 2 months ago

Well, c-man, I still want to know if you've stopped beating your dog. After all, it's just property.

moron 12 years, 2 months ago

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bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

I am probably some one you would negatively label a "fundie," but I am in favor of this proposal(s), it is way past time for Kansas to have feloney animal cruelty!

very glad to have this proposal, will call my legislators in favor!

gnome dog received his obedience training from me personally. animals are placed in our care and are dependent on us. our responsibility as being the more powerful and more capable of forward thought is to care for them.

Dogs are instinctively loving and caring for us people.
yes, I believe God made them that way.

gr 12 years, 2 months ago

If animals are not property and should not be owned, why do we allow pets in the city? No pets should be allowed. Or why are their "owners" cited with "violations"? The pet is it's own person?

On to other things...

Maybe the animal abusers used the wrong "method". What if they stuck a knife in the dog's skull and then sucked out the brains? Cleaned up their instruments, told the "owner" they'd be fine, and then said, "Next"?

None2, I think everyone would agree what they did with the animal was wrong. But, it sounds like you are one who promotes what you would call "equality". Don't you see if an animal has "rights" of protection, what more should a human baby have? Either that organism inside the mother's body is a "animal" and should be protected, or it's a baby and should be protected.

How do you equalize the father who killed the girlfriend's baby in the womb being a murderer and the doctor who is paid by the woman to kill her baby gets off free? The only answer I see, is one kills the baby against choice while the other pays to have it done.

If you go with against "choice", that's on shaky ground with abusing a dog.

bugmenot 12 years, 2 months ago

The legislation isn't strong enough. There is an almost 100% correlation between people who abuse animals and the escalation of that violence to human beings. If you lock up a person after they torture an animal, you're simply locking them up before they get a chance to hurt a human. These are the same people who will end up in jail for other "more heinous" crimes (more heinous, because they are done to humans).

Secondly, though I fear to stoop to conservativeman's level by even acknowleding his virulently poisonous and intellectual devoid arguments, there is a huge leap between protecting animals from cruelty and advocating vegetarianism. Just because Kansas is trying to keep people from burning a puppy alive does not mean they're trying to keep you from your barbeque.

bugmenot 12 years, 2 months ago

Further, your volunteering for "euthanasia duty" is disgusting and betrays your absolute selfishness. I only hope that, in a time of sickness or need, someone treats you with the contempt and disinterest with which you view other living creatures.

bugmenot 12 years, 2 months ago

Actually, under current law, most states are turning away from the notion that animals are mere property.

There's nothing in any state's animal cruelty statute concerning animals raised for fur, fiber, or meat industries. There are specific exemptions in many states, Kansas included, for rodeo animals. All this (or any) animal cruelty statute aims to do is to legislate a baseline amount of protection all animals (in fact, all sentient beings) are entitled to. There is a certain degree of moral superiority that derives from the knowledge that you are treating animals as well as you can this day in age. I don't understand why your argument is that, because you don't equate pets with being family members, why protecting them is such a "waste". If you truly feel the way you do about animals (and if you do, please don't keep any), then what skin is it off your nose that the rest of society chooses to protect them. There is so little cost involved with that.

And, for the record, most people in America don't think fetuses are babies. You can keep equating the two; the law will continue to distinguish between them. Because animals which are being abused have already been born and thus entered life, that's why the law chooses to protect them. Lifting up one's neighbor does not give you the moral edge, especially if in so doing, you feel entitled to hold that person hostage, spewing forth your morality and beliefs before you give them your aid.

Typical conservative - when your arguments run dry, as they so often do, turn to creative use of terminology to divert the argument.

bugmenot 12 years, 2 months ago

The post suggesting shipping unwanted dogs abroad for consumption is incindiary, juvenile, and pathetic. I sincerely hope that you only say these things to rile good-hearted people who care for animals. Your comment is as disgusting to me as if I were to suggest shipping aborted fetuses abroad for consumption, though both arguments are based on the same tortured, disgusting logic.

You are a disgrace to yourself and this community, and I suggest you resist the urge to trumpet your ignorance in such a public sphere again.

gr 12 years, 2 months ago

bugmenot: "The legislation isn't strong enough. There is an almost 100% correlation between people who abuse animals and the escalation of that violence to human beings. If you lock up a person after they torture an animal, you're simply locking them up before they get a chance to hurt a human. These are the same people who will end up in jail for other "more heinous" crimes (more heinous, because they are done to humans)."

slippery slope, slippery slope, blah, blah, blather....

But, you're probably right.

Do you think there are any correlations with baby killers?

janniebullinlawrence: this is a thread about extra legislation against cruelty of animals. Are babies animals or are they human?

gr 12 years, 2 months ago

bugmenot: do you think those countries who eat dogs are disgusting?

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago


All humans are animals. By 'babies,' are you talking about fetuses? I assume from your rhetoric that you are.

mushfish 12 years, 2 months ago

We need to be kind and humane to all living creatures, even the lesser creatures like this conservativeman.

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