Animal Protection Laws: Where Does Your State Rank?Posted by Lora Dunn, ALDF Staff Attorney on December 17, 2013
The results are in! The Animal Legal Defense Fund published its eighth annual Rankings Report—the longest-running, most comprehensive report that tracks animal protection laws across the entire U.S. This year’s biggest trends included strengthening penalties for neglecting an animal (now a felony in six more states) and requiring that abusers reimburse those who care for cruelly treated animals—including Arizona, the most-improved jurisdiction in 2013. Watch my short video update for more about latest trends in criminal legislation.
Where does your state rank? The best five states for animal protection remained the same this year, with Oregon enacting a felony penalty for animal neglect and rising to the number two spot. Kudos to North Dakota, which completely revamped its cruelty code to include a felony cruelty provision for the first time, and jumped out of the dreaded “best states to abuse animals.” South Dakota is now the only state that does not include a felony penalty for even the most heinous acts of cruelty. For more analysis on the report, listen to my interview on CBS Chicago.