LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Tennessee the Staffordshire Bull terrier sits in her Kennel with animal welfare assistant Sarah Green at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as she awaits a possible new owner on August 2, 2010 in London, England. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehome or return to their owners around 5,000 animals a year, however many dogs have to be put down because they are unsuitable to rehome despite being physically healthy. Last year the animal shelter had to put 2815 dogs to sleep. 321 of those because they were banned breeds, 482 for medical reasons, 81 due to behavioral problems and 1931 because of their temperament and aggressive nature which pose a risk to the public. 43 per cent of the dogs that come in to the dog's home are Staffordshire Bull terriers. Known as "Staffies" these dogs and similar crossbreeds are increasingly popular within gang culture as a status symbol, however, once abandoned they are very difficult to rehome due to their aggressive temperament. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A bill introduced in the Missouri House is seeking to change animal abuse convictions and protect those who report them.
The measure is House Bill 111, introduced by Representative Chrissy Sommer from St. Charles.
The bill states if a person is convicted of first time animal abuse the court is able to order the person to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluation and treatment. It would be a Class A misdemeanor.
For a second conviction, the treatment would be mandatory.
The bill would also allow anyone, including veterinarians, who report suspected animal abuse to be free of liability for the report.
Another bill being introduced on a federal level two Congressman in Florida is seeking to make some charges of animal cruelty a federal felony.
If it passes, it would give authorities jurisdiction to charge abusers taking animals across state lines with federal charges.
It would also allow authorities to prosecute criminals if the cruelty occurs on federal property.
Those convicted would face felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.