New legislation is being pushed in Hartford that would demand convictions of people who abuse animals, as well as strengthen animal rights.
The new law being put forth is called Desmond’s Law, named after a pit bull who was brutally killed by its owner. The bill would give a legal voice to abused animals in the courtroom.
“Desmond was an animal that ended up being starved, beaten, and when they did the necropsy on him, because he was strangled they found nothing in his stomach but toilet paper and plastic,” said State Rep. Diana Urban (D-43).
She joined animal rights activists on Wednesday, demanding animal abusers pay heavily for their crimes.
Desmond was killed in 2012 by his owner Alex Wullaert, but he didn’t receive a hefty punishment.
This prompted protests and a Facebook page called "Justice for Desmond," which now has led to Desmond’s Law.
If the law is passed, it would appoint a Connecticut law school student to fight for victimized animals.
“That student would be in court to explain the extent of the injuries to the animal, the emotional impact on those around the animal, and how the animal suffered and to say we really need to take this seriously,” Urban said.
This comes at a time when more and more animal abuse cases are being reported.
Just last month, a 22-year-old Bristol woman allegedly hung her two dogs from a tree.
Urban said 80 percent of abuse cases never even make it to court, let alone conviction.
“I want people like this in counseling and in a program that says to them ‘this is serious even if it means, jail’,” Urban said.
Others agree that there should be harsher punishment for those convicted of animal abuse.
Animal rights activists were also lobbying on Wednesday for a proper shelter bill.
This would toughen the rules and penalties for leaving animals out in the freezing temperatures and other improper conditions.
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