Radio Report: House approves Rep. Sam Low’s bill to strengthen penalties against animal abuse


The state House of Representatives gave strong bipartisan approval Monday to a bill that would strengthen penalties for the most egregious acts of animal cruelty in Washington. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: Republican State Representative Sam Low says current law falls short because the abuse of multiple animals may be treated as if just one animal was harmed.

LOW: “Skagit County, unfortunately, had a case where four hundred and forty-three dogs were removed from a puppy mill. Many of them were abused, neglected, deceased. And the standard sentencing for this was the same as if you pretty much did one animal.”

SATTGAST: Low’s House Bill 1961 would classify all acts of animal cruelty in the first degree as a seriousness level 3 offense.

LOW: “Animal cruelty in the first degree is already a Class C felony. And elevating it to a ranked crime would add it to the Sentencing Guidelines grid, creating consistency for judges, for prosecutors, and defense attorneys.”

SATTGAST: The bill passed 95 to 1. It now heads to the Senate for further consideration. John Sattgast, the state Capitol.

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