The 2017 Wyoming Legislature is in session and there are two bills we feel the animal welfare community and its supporters need to know about.
The first is SF0115, Malicious cruelty to animals. This bill is designed to make it a high-level misdemeanor offense to intentionally or cruelly shoot or poison an animal when it is on the property of its owner or on any other property where it is granted permission. The bill was brought the legislature after a beloved pet dog, Ben, was cruelly shot on his owner's land earlier this year. His injuries were so severe that he eventually had to be euthanized.
A Facebook page has been set up to track this bill and tell Ben's story. Visit it here.
UPDATE 2/3 - SF0115 passed the third reading in the senate with 29 favorable votes and one dissenting. Senator Cale Case from Fremont County was the lone vote against. The bill will now go to the House for introduction and committee assignment. We will post committee details and contacts when it has been assisgend.
The 2nd bill, HB0193, is yet another attempt to strengthen our state's animal cruelty statutes and to create felony-level charges for violating them. Wyoming is one of the only states in the country without felony animal cruelty statutes and is consistently ranked lowest, or next to last in state protections for companion pets. This bill is Rep. Zwonitzer's 4th attempt to increase the state's protections for animals.
This draft of the bill also has powerful protections for household pets in instances of domestic violence. Research shows that victims of domestic violence are less likely to leave or seek assistance when there are unprotected pets in the home.
See the article recent article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle for more information.
UPDATE 2/3 - HB0193 passed through committee by a 6-3 vote.
Ayes included representatives Blake, Gray, Haley, Henderson, Laursen, McKim
Noes included representatives Clausen, Hunt, and Steinmetz
This bill has now moves back to the house. However, it must be heard again by the end of the day on Monday (2/6) or it will die. Your help is needed to persuade the House Majority Floor leader to ensure this piece of legislation is read again before the deadline. Please call or send your e-mails to:
David Miller - firstname.lastname@example.org, 307-857-5789