New Coalition Works to Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws

New Coalition Works to Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws

In response to extremely lenient sentences for crimes involving animals, efforts are now underway to strengthen Louisiana’s animal cruelty laws. In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign is working with a new coalition to develop much-needed changes on behalf of animals.

4th Judicial District Attorney Steven Tew and fellow members of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association have drafted amendments to crack down on animal abusers by strengthening the state’s aggravated animal cruelty and violence laws. DA Tew drafted these changes after a judge delivered shockingly lenient sentences for the heinous murder of a dog shared on Snapchat.

For heartlessly cutting the throat of a dog named Choppa on social media, “Snapchat Dog Killers” Steven Sadler and Boots Stanley received just one year of probation instead of the one year of jail time they should have served in the Bastrop, Morehouse Parish.

This lenient sentencing of this case, and the cases of chemically burned racehorse Dr. Drip and the murder of a dog name Bobo, prompted our Justice for Animals Campaign to align with DA Tew, the Humane Society of Louisiana, Justice for Dogs Network Official, and the National Animal Relief and Rescue Inc., to form a coalition for change.

On November 20, our coalition met with Senator Neil Riser to discuss his support for DA Tew’s amendments. Senator Riser has publicly voiced the link between violence to animals and humans, and he serves on the Louisiana Senate Agriculture Committee. Our alert to Senator Riser asking for reform of animal cruelty laws collected over 11,300 signatures and were delivered at this meeting.

The proposed amendments to LA R.S. 14:102.1 would better define aggravated animal cruelty and mandate the minimum one-year incarceration is served without probation, parole or suspension of sentence and would apply to both stray and “owned” animals. The amendment to LA R.S.14:2 would add aggravated animal cruelty to the list of “crimes of violence” when an animal is “owned.” While we assert animals are not property, this amendment gives additional protection to animals with guardians.

Senator Riser supports the efforts of our newly formed coalition, and we will continue to work to move the amendments forward. We would like to thank our supporters for signing our alert, and we will keep you updated on the progress of these amendments to help strengthen animal cruelty laws in Louisiana.