CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Serious animal abuse would become a felony in West Virginia under a bill passed by the Senate.
Senators on Tuesday voted 31-2 to approve the proposal and send it to the House of Delegates. There was no debate. The measure would create a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals for seriously hurting or withholding food, shelter or medical treatment from an animal. It also adds a crime publishable by up to five years in prison for torturing or mutilating an animal.
The chamber also approved a bill to update the state’s harassment statute to include penalties for harassing a person with the intent to cause suicide.