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NC: Activists want stiffer animal cruelty laws in N.C.

Discussion in 'Dog Ordinances & Laws' started by Vicki, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Activists want stiffer animal cruelty laws in N.C.
    Friday, March 12, 2010
    (Updated 8:19 am)
    By Jennifer Fernandez
    Staff Writer


    GREENSBORO — Meet Susie — the poster dog for animal rights in North Carolina.

    You might remember her as the badly burned and beaten puppy found in a south Greensboro park last summer . The pit bull-shepherd mix captured the hearts of many, and they rallied to save her.

    Now Susie’s supporters will gather Sunday to rally again — this time to advocate for tougher animal cruelty laws in North Carolina. They’re going door-to-door in Guilford County with information on the state’s laws, which allowed Susie’s abuser to get off with what they say is a light sentence.

    Earlier this month, a judge sentenced Lashawn Whitehead to probation for felony animal cruelty, a judgment that followed the state’s structured sentencing laws. Whitehead, 21 , also received six to eight months in prison for setting personal property on fire. That personal property was Susie.

    “We want everybody to understand how minimal the penalties are for cruelty to animals,†said Roberta Wall , a Greensboro real estate agent who fostered Susie until she was placed in a permanent home with Donna Lawrence .

    “Some of these people get by with it ... and it’s just not fair,†Lawrence said. “These poor innocent animals are suffering for it. We have to be the voice for them.â€

    Under structured sentencing, the judge did not have the option to give Whitehead prison time on the cruelty charge, which is a Class I felony, the lowest level.

    Under what has been dubbed “Susie’s Law,†that charge would be bumped up to a Class F felony, which allows a judge to hand out an active prison sentence.

    State Sen. Don Vaughan , a Greensboro Democrat , is amending a bill that deals with puppy mills to include stiffer penalties for felony animal cruelty. Legislators will consider the amended bill when they resume work in May , he said.

    Vaughan wants to take Susie to Raleigh so fellow legislators can see what happened to her as they consider the bill.

    “It’s just hard to believe that this poor dog was tortured as she was and lived,†Vaughan said Thursday . “What I’d like to do is make something good come out of a terrible situation.â€

    Wall and Lawrence want people to write their legislators . They’ve created a sample letter, which they want supporters to deliver to neighborhoods along with fliers detailing Susie’s abuse and the outcome of her court case.

    They’ve used Facebook and other social media and reached out to animal rights groups to get the word out about Sunday’s canvass.

    “I think it’s going to make an impact,†said Lawrence, who plans to take Susie with her on Sunday. “I’m excited about getting this law changed. We really need this. It’s just not fair to the animals.â€

    Activists want stiffer animal cruelty laws in N.C. : News-Record.com : Greensboro the Triad's most trusted source for local news and analysis
  2. XXX

    XXX Good Dog

    The only issue I have with things like this is it falls back to me on "What is cruelty" Yes setting a dog on fire is cruel.... I think thats across the board... but they don't want to limit it to extreme acts like this they want it to include stupid things like tethering or even using a barrel for a house and they call that "cruel"....

    That is why the anti cruelty bills never get my support.
  3. Jrm1985Ohio

    Jrm1985Ohio Good Dog

    Agreed... they would have to clearly define cruel... some things aren't right, but aren't outright cruel.
  4. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    Yeah, cruelty is a pretty broad word.

    What is cruel to one isn't cruel to another. So, while they make it sound like a great idea, it still makes you think what are they defining as cruel, and where does it begin or end?
  5. ForestAnimal

    ForestAnimal Puppy

    I agree - Animal cruelty presents a very fuzzy fine line when it comes to the lack of definition, especially when "animal rights" activists are involved.... I cringe every time I hear "animal rights" because of PETA and HSUS.... Don't get me started!

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