New Law Sends ‘Pet Stalkers’ to Prison for Five Years
”Under the law, threatening or harming a pet as a way to harass or intimidate a victim is punishable by up to five years in prison.”
For victims, it’s a nightmare.
Threatened with violence themselves, most at least suspect their animals are at risk. After all, the legal ramifications for threatening or injuring a person have always been far more significant than those for threatening, injuring or even killing an animal.
But those ‘tables’ may now be ‘turning’ in the opposite direction as legislation begins to catch up to those perpetrating such crimes — and with such significant penalties as a five year sentence lawmakers are sure to have an impact.
GaryPeters [D] Michigan and Senator Dean Heller [R] Nevada introduced ‘Pet Stalker’ legislation in an effort to protect domestic violence survivors and their pets — but this bill will go a great way in protecting whistleblowers, witnesses and others whose pets are targeted in an effort to convince them to remain silent.
- The ‘Paws Act’ [Pet and Women Safety] also helps ensure that more safe havens for survivors of domestic abuse will exist — facilities that will also take in animals in the event that a woman seeking shelter needs to take her pet with her into a protective environment.
Further, the bill extends to include threats or acts of violence against the pets of targeted individuals.
Supporters of the legislation include the The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, The Animal League Defense Fund, The Animal Welfare Institute, RedRover, the National District Attorneys Association, The American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.