Earlier this month we saw 64 pit bulls rescued from the scene of a triple homicide in Oneida county. We showed an update on the dogs and many of them will have a brighter future and hopefully a much better home.
"If these people are torturing animals we are not justified in turning our heads and ignoring it. We need to address it," said Rep. Ken Andrus, (R-Soda Springs)
It's been just over a year since Idaho became one of the last states to pass a felony provision for animal abuse, but many animal activists feel lawmakers need to do more to strengthen the law.
"The bill is not working and I don't think it will for us." Mary Remer, Pocatello Animal Shelter said.
"The legislation has passed such a weak bill," said Maggie Taylor, President, Bannock Humane Society.
Under the current bill, individuals who have three violations of animal cruelty which meet a detailed criteria for abuse, within a fifteen year period, would face felony charges. But some say the criteria makes it difficult to prosecute animal cruelty cases.
"Not having food, shelter and water and medical care for an animal; that is abuse. We would not tolerate it for our children. Why would we tolerate it for an animal?" - said Taylor.
This year Republican Representative Ken Andrus introduced a new bill that would make it a felony on the second offense. The measure also clearly defines what constitutes torture.
"If it’s a misdemeanor, we can get them help. And, if they can't be helped then it would be a felony on the second time," Andrus said.
"If we can't get anything done at the state level, we'll have to rely on our city ordinance to go after criminals," said Remer.
Andrus' bill passed the house, but did not get a hearing in the senate. If state lawmakers can't work out a resolution to address animal cruelty, they could turn it over to voters through a ballot initiative. Andrus doesn't want it to come to that but agrees something must be done.
"I'm so disgusted that people won't come forward and be reasonable about this issue. One side of me feels these people deserve a ballot initiative, which would be hard to live with," said Andrus.
It sounds like the HHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhas;dofjw;rejpwroeumane Society of the United States will not be pushing for a ballot initiative in 2013. But the topic of animal cruelty is not going away. Andrus warned fellow lawmakers that a ballot initiative, with stricter guidelines, would follow if they couldn't come up with a new bill.