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New Colorado law would ban animal abuse offenders from owning pets

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A law has been proposed in Colorado that would, if passed, ban those convicted of animal abuse from owning, babysitting or living with an animal.

Democrat state Rep. Alex Valdez, the lawmaker behind the legislation known as HB19-1092, told The Denver Post on Tuesday that “the real important piece of this legislation is the component that deals with judges being able to sentence folks to anger management or mental health treatment.” 

{mosads}“There’s a correlation between people who commit acts of violence against animals and those same people committing acts of violence against people,” she continued.

Under the legislation, judges would reportedly be given the discretion to bar those who have been convicted of misdemeanor animal abuse from being able to own, possess, care for or reside with “an animal of any kind” for a number of years.

“We’re leaving (misdemeanors) up to judicial discretion,” Valdez told the local paper. “They’re dealing with these cases day in and day out, and we don’t want to take away their ability to evaluate cases individually.”

However, the bill would reportedly make the ban mandatory for those who have been convicted of felony animal abuse.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers introduced a measure, known as the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, to make animal cruelty a felony nationwide.

Under the measure introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), those who “intentionally engage in animal crushing if the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce” would be convicted of a federal crime.

“Congress should act to guarantee a level of protection for animals across the country by criminalizing these inhumane acts,” Deutch said in a release at the time. 

“We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos; now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well,” he added.

Tags Ted Deutch Vern Buchanan

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