So our question is why has Ag opposition blocked the reintroduction of a bill for the past 3 years? Can't South Dakotans discuss the merits of this bill in a legislative committee? We expected misinformation to surface, but not before a bill is even introduced. Come on, let's get a bill introduced so it can be discussed in committee by Ag entities and South Dakota animal advocates alike. Unfortunately, the deadline to introduce legislation is January 23 - next Wednesday. We know constituents in almost every South Dakota district have contacted their legislators for sponsorship and support. Some are sympathetic, some commit to considering the bill and others have not even replied to their own constituents. Let's hope they've just been busy and some sponsors and supporters will step forward this week because South Dakotans want protection for our pets and communities now. A working draft of the proposed felony companion animal bill is provided below. Remember your legislators work for you, so if you haven't received a response, call the Senator Lobby at 605.773.3821 and the House Lobby at 605.773.3851 now. You can leave a message with the lobby receptionist following up on the email you sent - ask your legislators to create and pass a felony companion animal cruelty bill in 2013. If you haven't contacted your legislators because you thought others were making it happen - contact them today. This is a grassroots effort and we need everyone's help!
HOUSE BILL NO. XXXX
Introduced by: __________________________________
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide for felony penalties for aggravated cruelty to dogs, cats, and horses. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That Chapter 40-1 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
This section may not be construed to prohibit:
Any person who violates this section may also, at the discretion of the court, be ordered to undergo psychological or psychiatric evaluation and obtain psychological counseling, including counseling in responsible pet ownership or animal cruelty prevention, for which the person shall bear any costs incurred; and not to own or possess a dog, cat, or horse for up to five years after the date of the sentencing.