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Animal abuse laws in Indiana could become stricter

Penalties for criminals who abuse animals are one step closer to becoming stricter in Indiana.

House Bill 1615 passed out of committee Wednesday. The bill, proposed by Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville), seeks to increase penalties against those convicted of animal abuse in Indiana.

This law would make killing an animal punishable by up to six years in prison. The bill had plenty of support from the Tri-State.

“Pretty much any rescue you talk to in town has been following that bill...and they're excited. (8:34) Everyone's just ecstatic that you know, finally, finally did it not only get a hearing but it pass 12-0 -- and that's wonderful."

In a statement, Hatfield said, “There is a direct link between people who abuse and torture animals and people who abuse other people. Thus, when we strengthen animal cruelty crimes to protect our animals, we also protect our children.”

The bill is heading to the House floor for a vote.

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(This story was originally published on February 6, 2019)

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