Utah has passed the law that makes torturing a cat or dog a felony.
It took years to bring this to fruition. What it really took, apparently, was thousands of people teaming with phone calls, letters, and emails to elected officials saying "It's time."
Who are the top 5 worst states for domestic animal protection/laws in 2007?
Utah - Alaska - Kentucky - North Dakota - Arkansas.
The top 5 best states - California - Illinois - Maine - Oregon - Michigan.
From the worst 5, the biggest surprise for me was Utah, home of the Best Friends sanctuary.
The least surprising was Arksansas - don't even get me started.
The most surprising state not on the worst list was Pennsylvania, although it is ranked near the bottom of all the other states. If I lived in PA (which I did once briefly near the WV border), I'd probably be in jail, and I'm not a radical.
This info is all public - available from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. In fact, if you really want to know where your state ranks or more specifics, they have it.
Let me say this clearly: I am not slamming the good residents of any state. I suspect many residents of many states have no clue what the laws are with regard to domestic animals. Shouldn't the laws of any state be by the people, for the people? Recently, I commented about the response of a GA elected official who felt that strengthening the laws that protect animals would add to the over-burdened prison system in GA needlessly. Really? Maybe he missed the various statistics about how individuals known to abuse animals go on to hurt humans. This is some of the most documented pathological behavior out there - animal abusers studied move forward to behavior that hurts humans. Even if a person had not a shred of compassion for a dog or cat, surely they can see the logic in potential prevention of crimes against people. There are so few times when law enforcement can proactively do anything to protect the public. I guess I should not be too surprised - look at how long it has taken to strengthen domestic/elder abuse laws.
One huge hurdle to overcome will take many, many like and great minds to overcome. Ever had someone tell you that if you didn't like a law, you should get it changed? Until we figure out how to designate animals as less than human but more than property, most states will stay confounded in their legislative efforts. There has to be a way.