Kentucky House passes bill making it a felony to torture dogs and cats

Kentucky Lantern

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The Kentucky House kicked off the week by passing a bill that would make it a Class D felony to torture a dog or cat.

House Bill 258 passed the chamber 80-9. A similar bill passed a few hurdles in the 2023 session but did not make it into law. 

In late February, celebrity rescue dog Ethan came to Frankfort with his human to testify in favor of the bill, which is named after him. 

Ethan’s Law would let people who intentionally torture dogs or pets be charged with a felony on their first offense. Veterinarian recommended euthanasia, and body modifications like ear cropping are not considered torture in this bill. 

Torture is defined in the bill as “intentional infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain or serious injury or death to a dog or cat, motivated by intent or wanton disregard that causes, increases, or prolongs the pain or suffering of the dog or cat, including serious physical injury or infirmity.” 

Examples of torture include the animal being sealed in a plastic bag, physically restrained with tape or ropes and abandoned with no arrangements made for care and more. 

The bill can now head to the Senate side for consideration. 

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