Out of 50 current states in the U.S., Idaho ranks number 48 — that’s two away from dead last — when it comes to sufficiently protecting animals from abuse, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Under current state law, cruelty against animals is considered a simple misdemeanor, as though sadistically tormenting a pet dog or cat is remotely the same as “low-level offenses” like petty theft or trespassing. Only once a person commits and is actually convicted of animal cruelty a full three times does it finally rise to the serious level of a felony offense.
As Adam Karp, an Animal Law Practitioner, says, it’s been “like pulling teeth just to get Idaho to felonize animal cruelty.” But luckily, Idaho residents aren’t backing down. Now, a group of concerned residents and animal lovers have come together to form the Citizens of Idaho Against Domestic Animal Abuse. They’re demanding that lawmakers increase protections for animals by listing animal cruelty as a first-offense felony. Right now, officials don’t seem to think heinous abuse against innocent creatures is a serious problem, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Sign the petition to tell Idaho lawmakers that animal cruelty must be listed as a felony offense in order to reflect the severity of these crimes!