How a proposed bill would change Alabama’s animal cruelty laws

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 10:10 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A bill proposed today in the Alabama Senate would make it illegal to report animal cruelty if it turns out the complaint is unfounded. If there is no evidence of abuse, the person who called in the complaint would be charged with a class C misdemeanor.

That’s how Senate Bill 196 works on the surface and the Greater Birmingham Humane society says they will be strongly impacted by it.

Allison Black Cornelius with Greater Birmingham Humane Society says they don’t want another barrier that could deter people from reporting abuse. Another reason she disagrees with the bill? She says organizations like hers would be put out of business.

“If we take animals in for law enforcement and impound them, if we raise any funds during that impoundment period, even if the person or persons are found guilty of animal abuse or neglect, this bill requires us to take all the money the donors gave us to care for these animals and to give it to the convicted person to offset their fines,” says Greater Birmingham Humane Society CEO Allison Black Cornelius.

She believes this bill is in response to the Department of Agriculture not having enough resources to investigate every puppy mill allegation.

The bill has made it out of committee and will go to the full senate for a vote.

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