Initiative would make some animal cruelty a felony

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A national group says North Dakota has some of the nation's weakest laws against animal cruelty, and a group of activists wants to change that.

They have gathered signatures for a ballot measure that would make cruelty against dogs, cats and horses a felony crime.

Supporters of the measure say they'll turn in their petitions to Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Tuesday. They believe they have enough names to get a spot on the November ballot.

North Dakota has laws against mistreating animals, but the stiffest punishment for breaking them is a misdemeanor. It carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The proposed ballot measure would make cruelty against cats, dogs and horses a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.