A compromise was reached Wednesday on a bill that was originally intended to create a felony penalty for animal cruelty. However, the bill no longer contains any language regarding the enhanced penalty for repeat offenders of animal cruelty laws.
HB 235 originally would have made anyone convicted of animal abuse more than once guilty of a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. The Senate removed all of the language pertaining to the enhanced penalty and the House rejected the changes to its bills.
The compromise approved by the House on Wednesday still leaves the felony language out of the bill. However, as it stands, the bill would allow a judge to bar a person from seeing or caring for a pet if that person had been convicted in a domestic abuse case.
If the Senate approves the changes, the bill will head to the desk of Gov. Mark Gordon for his signature.