Animal Cruelty and Increased Fines Bill Dies in Senate
Written by jordanmckamey on January 18, 2019
A bill that would have increased the fines for those convicted of animal cruelty died Tuesday in the Wyoming Senate by a vote of 7 to 21.
In Wyoming, cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $750. Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.
The bill, which was proposed by Sen. Mike Gierau, D-Jackson, would have increased the maximum fine for animal cruelty to $2,500 and the maximum fine for aggravated animal cruelty to $10,000.
Gierau previously said it would be challenging to get momentum on the bill because Wyoming ranks low nationally for animal rights.
Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, said Thursday that he voted down the bill because he didn’t believe it would achieve its desired objective of preventing animal abuse. Most animal cruelty cases are really just a matter of neglect, he said, and most people only neglect their pets because they cannot afford to properly care for them.
Given that these people are already financially struggling, Boner said handing down a larger fine would only make the situation worse.