Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill that will create harsher punishment for animal cruelty offenders.
Iowa lawmakers have been working on the measure for years.
The law will allow pets to be easily rescued if they aren’t given enough food or water. Law enforcement will also now be able to charge someone with abuse if they interntionally injury an animal
Preston Moore is the Iowa state Director for the Humane Society of the United States and he said that the new bill House File 737 adds stricter legal penalties if an animal is abandoned and is injured or dies as a result of abuse.
“This particulary bill was filed in 2019 and its been a pretty big effort by a number of and just individual citizens for the two years trying to get this specific bill done,” said Moore.
King’s Harvest Pet Rescue Assistant Director Rochelle Dougall said that when she heard about the law passing she remembered Emmanuel, a pitbull who of abuse last December.
“It’s good to know that if anything ever happens like that again to another dog we’re going to have stricter and harsher punishment for the perpetrator to face,” said Dougall
Dougall along with other staff have been a long time advocate for animals to be protected in the state of Iowa.
“As an avocate you finally hear that your hard work has paid off it was, we were all filled with joy,” said Dougall. “You need wins like this in this fight because it’s what keeps you going and it’s what gives you the energy to keep advocating for the animals.”
Moore feels that this win is huge victory for animal lovers.
“We still have a lot of work to do HSUS is still committed to making sure that animal torture is defined as an automatic felony it didn’t happen this year there’s still alot of good things in the bill but our work is still not done.”
These new penalties ranges from a fine of at least $65 all the way up to five years in prison.