Bill would impose tougher penalties on Indiana animal abusers

An Indiana legislator says animal abuse is happening more and more across the state. He is proposing a bill that would impose tougher penalties for animal abusers but it may not come up for a vote.

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 10:33 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - An Indiana legislator says animal abuse is happening more and more across the state. He is proposing a bill that would impose tougher penalties for animal abusers but it may not come up for a vote.


This is the second time State Representative Ryan Hatfield of Evansville has authored a bill to protect animals and punish the people who abuse them. This year, like last, the bill may not get a hearing. One Terre Haute pet owner says "that's ridiculous."

"You hear stories all the time of animals starving because they just get left behind. I honestly think that's terrible."

Katie Gosnell has not owned her pug puppy long but says the dog is already part of the family.

"I think that if anybody were to hurt her I would want as harsh a penalty as you would give for a child."

Rep. Hatfield says House Bill 1094 would increase the offense for some animal abuse crimes from misdemeanors to felonies. This means abusers could spend more time in jail.

"Judges are only slapping the wrists of these animal abusers. This law aims to add a little teeth to the criminal code by providing a Level 6, or even a Level 5 in some cases, penalty which is punishable by up to three years in jail."

According to Rep. Hatfield, the bill has support from republicans and democrats but the Chairman of the Corrections and Criminal Code Committee, State Representative Tom Washburne, refuses to hear the bill.

Gosnell says, "I think that's absolutely ridiculous to be completely honest with you. If we don't enforce justice on this sort of thing it's just going to go unnoticed and more and more animals are going to suffer because of this."

Hatfield says people who abuse animals are more likely to harm people. That's why he says these crimes should be taken seriously, now.

The bill includes language regarding the tethering of an animal. Rep. Hatfield says this is a new part of the bill that was added after a dog was found left in a cage by a river in Central Indiana. The dog was dead and frozen.

Gosnell says, "I personally believe that if you're going to have a dog then you should have it inside. It should be a part of the family. It shouldn't be something that you just have there whenever."

More information on House Bill 1094 can be found here.

Contact your elected officials:

Representative Ryan Hatfield
Democrat, District 77
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
800-382-9842

Representative Thomas Washburne
Republican, District 64
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
800-382-9841

Terre Haute
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 60°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Mostly clear, calm evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

Saturday: Mostly sunny, unseasonably warm. High: 89°

Image

Casey-Westfield

Image

Parke Heritage football

Image

Sullivan football

Image

Robinson football

Image

VL Football

Image

North Knox football

Image

THN Football

Image

THS Football

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1590342

Reported Deaths: 26979
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60937610925
DuPage1031521352
Will865801083
Lake764741056
Kane65399842
Winnebago38682543
Madison37731569
St. Clair34758561
McHenry32773313
Peoria25738361
Champaign25601182
Sangamon24263266
McLean21611205
Tazewell19559326
Rock Island17631342
Kankakee16523233
Kendall15274105
LaSalle14349275
Macon14248233
Vermilion12908182
Adams12589147
DeKalb11542127
Williamson11206156
Whiteside7813176
Boone756681
Jackson756683
Coles7175112
Ogle705385
Grundy693181
Clinton676498
Franklin669694
Knox6528163
Marion6454135
Macoupin636597
Henry610272
Jefferson5981131
Effingham588980
Livingston564394
Woodford549791
Stephenson540089
Randolph522996
Monroe503299
Christian481980
Morgan479995
Fulton479069
Logan473573
Montgomery462876
Lee454956
Bureau423087
Perry411171
Saline399263
Iroquois391171
Fayette387756
McDonough352155
Jersey319753
Douglas303336
Shelby300343
Crawford298930
Lawrence294631
Union293846
Wayne267957
White261530
Richland256852
Hancock253434
Pike252256
Cass247728
Clark244138
Bond242224
Clay233347
Ford233056
Edgar229844
Carroll223937
Warren220456
Moultrie209331
Johnson208922
Washington204927
Jo Daviess203525
Greene199339
Mason196251
Wabash196115
Massac195144
De Witt192730
Piatt188814
Mercer187035
Cumberland174123
Menard155812
Jasper149518
Marshall133721
Hamilton127221
Brown10138
Pulaski97311
Schuyler9608
Edwards94815
Stark76027
Gallatin7285
Scott6895
Alexander66411
Calhoun6382
Henderson63114
Hardin55713
Putnam5414
Pope4725
Unassigned1582432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468