FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Two pieces of legislation that toughen laws on animal cruelty are being proposed by House Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher.
The bills were inspired by the tragic death of Arrow, a 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier found with an arrow in his body in a Louisville park last month, leading to hours of agonizing pain. The individual responsible has yet to be found.
Ever since the incident, Bratcher has brought together a variety of stakeholders and worked diligently to craft legislation aimed at cracking down on those who commit heinous crimes against dogs and other pets.
“When I saw this sickening crime, I knew that we had to act,” said the Louisville Republican. “There should be greater justice served when horrific crimes are committed against animals, and we should do all we can to ensure their safety and protection.”
One bill included in the package is a so-called “Good Samaritan” law, which provides legal immunity to those who break into a car or truck to rescue a dog or cat discovered to be in danger due to excessive heat.
The second bill creates a Class D felony for those convicted of animal cruelty on the second offense, a classification which is currently only reserved for the torturing of an animal. Those convicted of a felony would be added to a two-year registry under the measure, with a subsequent conviction landing the individual on the registry for five years.
Bratcher has worked closely with concerned Louisville citizens Anna Daniels and Pam Daniels in drafting the legislation, with a shared goal of getting Kentucky out of the basement as it relates to animal protection laws.
In a statement, the couple commended Bratcher for his work on issues relating to animal protection.
“We are the voice for all of the animals out there who currently do not have a voice,” the statement said. “It’s an honor for us to fight hard on their behalf, as well as on behalf of all of our fellow citizens who are demanding action to hold those who abuse animals fully accountable.”