Legislation that would require people to give shelter to dogs and make changes to a jail program for animal abusers was unveiled at the state capitol on Tuesday.
Lawmakers hope to get it passed during this legislative session.
The concern is too many people are getting off too easy.
"I’d like them to get a jail sentence and then dismissed and then sent to counseling,” said State Rep. Diana Urban (D-Stonington).
Urban may be one of the most passionate lawmakers when it comes to protecting animals.
Indiana Jones was a rescue dog, and a lot of dogs who end up in shelters are abused.
"And so many of those cases were given AR (accelerated rehab), and no one got to know about it,” said Rep. Brenda Kupchick, a Republican representing Fairfield.
She said a Legislative Animal Welfare Caucus works year-round with animal advocates on laws meant to protect animals.
Accelerated rehabilitation wipes someone's record clean.
It was given to Alex Wullaert, who tortured Desmond, his girlfriend’s pit bull. He admitted to police he choked the dog after it bit him and urinated on his leg.
Lawmakers are proposing several new laws. One would require adequate shelter in extreme weather, and no accelerated rehabilitation for felony animal cruelty.
They also want people to take action to rescue animals in hot/cold cars without any criminal liability and for cases of bestiality; that should always be a felony.
Just last month, B.J, a black pit bull, was found frozen to death in a Hartford backyard. He was skinny, with no food or water, and was living in his own feces.
"We have had some that have not lived, we have had some that have been beaten, some that have been frozen. You say how can any human, if you can call them human, do that,” said Judy Umstead, an animal control officer.
Lawmakers also believe in many cases those who abuse animals are more likely to abuse people.
These proposals have bi-partisan support.
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