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HF 737 relating to increased penalties for animal abuse, mistreatment and torture passed the Republican-controlled house unanimously and should likewise be passed by the Iowa Senate.

Iowa currently ranks 48th in the nation in terms of laws protecting our companion animals, specifically dogs and cats. (The bill specifically EXCLUDES livestock). Iowa and Mississippi are the ONLY two states that do not have a law allowing for a first offense felony for animal torture.

Much misinformation is, I dare say, being intentionally propagated by those who fear the bill for what reason I do not know.

Animal abuse per HF 737 is defined as “when a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly acts to inflict injury, serious injury or death on an animal by force, violence or poisoning”.  Thus it is not the type of injury suffered by Fido but rather if Fido was injured by intentional force, violence or poisoning.

Be assured if your dog sprains his ankle in agility training, catches his tail in a gate or even falls off the sofa and is injured you are NOT subject to punishment under HF737. Unless of course, you intended to injure the animal and used force violence or poisoning in doing so. You then deserve punishment.

This is an important issue. Disseminating inaccurate information is insulting and dishonest. Iowans are capable of deciding for themselves this issue. Let us be sure we are providing them the accurate information necessary to do so.

  • Kolleen K Samek
    Des Moines, Iowa