Paws Up! To Virginia lawmakers for passing “Tommie’s Law” which increases the severity of animal cruelty charges to a felony.
March 19, 2019
Thanks to Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), animal abusers can now face felony charges in Virginia. Previously, felony charges could only be sought if the animal died from the injuries sustained from abuse. See our previous article about Tommie’s Law here.
The law’s namesake was Tommie, a pitbull-mix who was tied to a pole, doused in gasoline, and set on fire at a park in Richmond, Virginia. Sadly, though many animal care experts came to his aid, he succumbed to his injuries five days later. According to this article, no suspects have been apprehended at this time.
In a unanimous effort, all Virginia state senators and assemblymembers voted in favor of Tommie’s Law. Now in Virginia, any individual who commits these atrocities to animals will be faced with a Class 6 felony, which could result in five years in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Although this new legislation is far from perfect, it is definitely a step in the right direction for the humane treatment of animals!
Take Action: The bill has passed the House and Senate, and it is now headed to the Governor’s desk. Contact Governor Northam and tell him that the animals of Virginia are counting on him to be a voice for the voiceless and to sign Senate Bill 1604 into law!