ALDF Sends Bouquet of Thanks to Governor Sebelius for Signing Critical Animal Protection Bill

Posted on April 18, 2006

Everything is coming up roses for animals in Kansas, thanks to a new
animal protection bill that was signed into law yesterday by Governor
Kathleen Sebelius. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), who worked
with and advised lawmakers on the legislation during the past year, has
sent a big bouquet of gratitude to the capitol this afternoon. The
bill, which will go into effect on July 1, adds Kansas to the ranks of
states whose laws allow animal abusers to be convicted of felonies.
Only eight states remain without any such felony provision. In
addition, the law, known as “Scruffy’s Law” after a dog maliciously
tortured in a gruesome 1997 killing, includes mandatory minimum
sentences, psychological evaluations, anger management programs, and
five-year bans on the possession of any animal following a conviction. 

Last month, following a detailed comparative analysis of the animal
protection laws of each state in the country, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund released a first-of-its-kind report ranking all fifty states and
the District of Columbia for the general comprehensiveness and relative
strength of their respective animal protection laws. As one of the
small minority of states lacking a felony provision for animal cruelty,
Kansas ranked in the bottom tier of states in the group’s report.

“The new felony provision in Kansas, along with the other steps forward
for animals provided for by this law, are sure to make a difference in
next year’s rankings,” says Stephan Otto, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund’s director of legislative affairs, who advised Kansas legislators
and the local grassroots organization “Power for Paws” in pushing for
the passage of Scruffy’s Law. “By ensuring that criminals who violently
abuse animals will no longer get off with only a slap on the wrist,
Governor Sebelius and the Legislature are showing that Kansans are
serious about getting tough on crime, as well as protecting their
beloved animals. If we could send flowers not just to the Governor, but
to every Kansan who helped support passage of this new law, every
flower store in the state would soon be empty. Kansas has a lot to be
happy about today."

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting
the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system.
Please contact ALDF for a full copy of the state rankings report or visit the website.