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California Needs Harsher Animal Cruelty Laws Crossbow Arrow Lodged in Dog

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

If animal abusers and killers faced murder charges, they might act differently: A California dog is found with the arrow from a crossbow lodged in its side as Riverside police search for the person who shot the German Shepard mix puppy that had to be euthanized to relieve its suffering. North Carolina introduced "Susie's Law" in 2010 -- a law which turns a misdemeanor into a felony -- while the rest of the nation is in dire need of harsher penalties and laws related to animal cruelty for the persons that deliberately inflict grave harm on animals.
A La Sierra University security guard found the severely injured German shepherd mix on the school's campus -- when he discovered an an arrow lodged in the dog’s side. Police still don't know whether the dog was shot on campus or came from an area neighborhood streets after being injured. What is clear is that the dog was suffering gravely.
What is also clear is that laws and penalties for humans that inflict that kind of torture need to better match that suffering.
The German Shepard dog shot with an arrow -- still just a puppy, at no more than six months old -- was taken to Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley. Pain medication and antibiotics didn't help and the dog, suffering from a blood-filled or collapsed right lung and injured spine after being shot by an arrow, was euthanized at the Riverside facility in order to relieve the puppy's suffering.
Public Information Chief John Welsh for the Department of Animal Services for the Riverside county area says: “We’re a big organization. We come across some heinous things. But this is one of the ones that really make you shake your head. It’s malicious and disgusting ... and does make you ask the question, ‘Why?'"
More than 'why', the better question is what harsher penalties can be imposed to prevent animal cruelty. Last year North Carolina introduced a new bill, called "Susie's Law" -- passed December 1, 2010, which mandates animal cruelty, or "the malicious abuse, torture or killing" of an animal, is an offense punishable by imprisonment for up to 8 months of a jail sentence. North Carolina's "Susie's Law" came into creation after a pit bull mix, just 8 weeks old and owned by Lashawn Whitehead, was beaten and set on fire before being left to die.
The abused dog survived and was later adopted, but owner Whitehead was punished simply with probation -- an event where activists say animal cruelty cases that leave an animal to the point of death or suffering just be prosecuted by far more than a 'slap on the wrist'.
Unbelievably, some states U.S. states still do not deem animal cruelty even a felony: Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota offer no strict punishment for cruelty to animals and still consider even torture of dogs and cats as simply a Misdemeanor legal offense -- no matter the level of abuse. Until "Susie's Law" was officially passed in December 2010, North Carolina was one of those states where animal cruelty offenders enjoyed the risk of receiving only a misdemeanor -- not a felony punishment -- for abusing animals.
But just because it's a felony doesn't mean it's enough. Animal cruelty is a felony in the state of California but, like most states, it carries and a maximum penalty of one year jail time for abuse offenders -- and the Riverside-area dog shot with a crossbow's arrow in July 2011 is one of many instances of cruelty that continue each year in California state.
A lack of severity or punishment with laws continues to allow animal abusers and murderers to commit crimes of cruelty and torture -- with virtually no punishment. Just weeks ago in California, July 2011, former police officer Earl Ansley was arrested for killing a neighbor's dogs with poisoned meatballs put into her yard as bait: Ansley is the suspect in the murder of up to three dogs in California including two dogs owned by the same woman, both murdered by the man in last month in June, and one other dog in the area.
One of the animals Earl Ansley is accused of killing through meat laced with strychnine was the owner's last link to her daughter: The Scottish terrier that just died in June from poisoning had originally belonged to the woman's daughter --- the daughter killed in a car accident just years ago. There's no better example of the severe lack of penalties for animal cruelty when a police officer himself seems to know he can murder -- and get away with it. After allegedly killing no less than three dogs, the maximum jail time the former cop faces for those deliberate killings will most likely be just months in jail -- possibly six months.
Disgustingly, most U.S. states have a penalty of no more than about $1,000 and a one-year maximum jail sentence for convictions related to animal cruelty.
Nevada and Ohio should be absolutely ashamed over the lack of legal repercussions related to animal abuse: Cruelty to animals in both states is a felony offense -- but in the state of Nevada will get offenders 2 days to a maximum of 6 months, along with community service while Ohio offenders face a maximum of 90 days.
California, Colorado and Oregon have among the highest fines of $20,000 maximum fine in California, $100,000 maximum in Colorado and Oregon -- but potential jail time is minimal in California and Colorado, up to five years jail sentence in Oregon.
New Hampshire and Oklahoma are among the toughest with potential jail time when it comes to animal abuse: Animal cruelty can yield up to seven years jail sentence for those in New Hampshire, while Oklahoma can send an offender to the state penitentiary for up to five years. Florida allows imprisonment of up to five years for intentional animal cruelty, as does Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina, Washington and New Jersey. Minnesota has a maximum of up to four years jail time for animal cruelty offenders.
The non-profit ASK Foundation -- a charitable group connected to Riverside city and the county shelter -- is sponsoring a reward for $500 for information leading to an arrest in the crossbow and arrow case involving the German Shepard mix puppy that was fatally wounded in California. Anyone who has seen someone using a crossbow in the Riverside area or has possible information about how the puppy would have been shot with an arrow is asked to call (951) 358-7387.


Western Riverside County / City Animal Shelter - Jurupa Valley
6851 Van Buren Blvd
Jurupa Valley
United States
Phone: (951) 358-7387
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