Mississippi state senator fighting for tougher animal cruelty laws

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — One Mississippi senator is hoping to make animal cruelty laws stricter.

This comes after several horrific cases in the state. In the last month, two horrific cases of animal cruelty have been brought to the light.

There was a dog severely beaten and another case with a video that shows a cat scalded to death. Both cases were talked about on social media.

“When somebody pours water over a cat in a cage and scalds it or sets a dog on fire and videos it and puts it on social media there’s something not quite right with that individual,” said State Senator Angela Hill, a Republican representing District 40.

Currently, first offense aggravated animal cruelty is a misdemeanor. She wants it to be a felony. Under current law, a person could abuse multiple animals at one time, and only be charged with one count of animal cruelty. She wants the law changed so that each animal would be a separate charge.

“I think it could potentially save some human for being abused because the correlation there is just outstanding,” she said.

Senate Bill 2623 would also make psychological evaluations mandatory, and it would put Mississippi in compliance with the FBI’s request to have abusers put into a national database. That’s something animal shelters desperately need.

“We’ve had a dog that was decapitated as revenge against neighbors and the body left on one car the head left on another. When the family got up to go to school the next day there was their family pet that had been taken from the backyard,” said Debra Boswell, the executive director of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League.

“In my opinion somebody that thinks that you should be able to torture a dog or a cat just because they’re your property that’s scary to me, and unfortunately I’ve gotten emails to that effect, so that tells me for sure we need this bill.”

The last update to animal cruelty laws were in 2011 when the dog and cat protection act was put into place.

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