Lawmakers in South Carolina are debating a bill to ban animal abusers in the state from adopting new pets for half a decade.
Local news affiliate WLOS reports that a bill currently in committed would bar anyone convicted of animal abuse in a South Carolina court from adopting a pet in the state for five years. Another bill currently being considered would permanently ban abusers from owning pets.
Bruce Bryant (R), the bill's author, told WLOS he is a pet owner and former sheriff who understands the need for laws to protect animals.
"Personally I can't see anything that would be negative about it, because anybody that loves animals will want to do what's right for the animals. When I started crying about it, somebody else had already filed a bill and I said, 'well just put me on it,' " he added.
The CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, a nonprofit that aids homeless pets in the state, told WLOS that his organization wants to see harsher penalties for repeat offenders.
“We would recommend that on the first time, the individual should be prohibited from having an animal. There’s a limitation of five years, if it’s on the first offense, then sure five years. If it’s a second offense, then no animal for the lifetime," Joe Elmore told the news station.
The bill comes just weeks after an Idaho science teacher was acquitted in a nationally-prominent animal cruelty case after he allegedly fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.