MS SB 2623—First Offense Felony Penalty for Aggravated Offenses of Animal Cruelty Sponsor: Senator Billy Hewes
Please call your Mississippi state senator today and urge him or her to support the passage of SB 2623 to institute a felony-level penalty for a first offense of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Mississippi is one of only four states that does not have a felony-level penalty for the most severe acts of animal cruelty. However, the Mississippi Legislature has taken an important first step toward correcting this and better protecting dogs and cats in the state. Senate Bill 2623, legislation that will strengthen Mississippi's animal cruelty laws, successfully passed out of committee last week and is now headed to the Senate floor, where it will be considered and voted on by the entire Senate.
If passed, SB 2623 will institute a felony-level penalty for a first offense of the most serious, egregious and aggravated acts of cruelty to dogs and cats.
Studies have proven that violence and cruelty directed at animals is a first step toward violent behavior directed at people, which is another reason why strong penalties for animal abusers are so crucial: they help protect both animals and people and make for safer communities. Because of the proven link between violence toward animals and violence toward people, this is important legislation not only for Mississippi's dogs and cats, but for Mississippi's human population as well.
Help to put an end to the cycle of violence before it starts. Call the office of your state senator today and urge him or her to protect both people and animals by supporting SB 2623 to create a felony-level penalty for a first offense of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Please don't delay; SB 2623 could be heard and brought up for a vote in the Mississippi Senate as early as this week, so time is of the essence!
To find your state senator's contact information, visit our Action Center and enter your zip code.
You can also find your Mississippi state senator's contact info on the state's web site.
Please remember to contact your STATE senator, not federal senator!
Here are a few talking points that might help you when calling your senator:
•Mississippi's animal protection laws are among the weakest in the nation.
•Mississippi is one of only a very few states that does not have a first offense felony-level penalty for the most serious and egregious acts of aggravated animal cruelty.
•Because of the proven link between violence toward animals and violence toward people, mental health and social services professionals support strong animal cruelty penalties such as a first offense felony for aggravated acts of cruelty to animals.
•Providing stronger protections for animals has the added benefit of protecting people.
•Cruelty to animals is an indicator crime of future deviant and violent criminal behavior.
•Strong animal cruelty laws make for safer communities.