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Senate Judiciary to Hear Anti-Animal Cruelty Bill Today

Wielechowski’s Bill Will Increase Penalties on Animal Cruelty

(JUNEAU) -  The Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Friday, February 12th) will take testimony on Senate Bill 214, sponsored by Senator Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage.

“Law enforcement agencies and numerous studies have long known that there is a significant correlation between cruelty to animals and domestic violence,” said Senator Wielechowski.  “SB 214 increases the punishment for the most heinous crimes of animal cruelty, allowing us to identify and punish perpetrators early on, before they can do more damage to our pets and people in our community.”

Senator Wielechowski said the bill has the support of numerous groups, including the Department of Public Safety’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Alaska Peace Officers’ Association, Alaska Veterinary Medical Association, the SPCA, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and more.

“Under current Alaska state law, we’ve seen criminals get more time for letting the air out of car tires than for shooting a dog and throwing him off a bridge,” said Senator Wielechowski. “In fact, right now if you steal a $500 dog or destroy a $500 picture of a dog you receive much greater punishment than if you actually kill or seriously injure a pet.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee meeting begins tomorrow at 1:30 pm in the Beltz Room (105) of the Stewart Legislative Building at the Alaska State Capitol.

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