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Local shelter reacts to bill that would make animal cruelty a federal crime

(WBNG) — The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would make acts of animal cruelty a felony and local animal shelters say it’s a step in the right direction.

The Broome County Humane Society in Binghamton says it deals with too many animal abuse cases in the area. Recently, they brought in dogs found stuck in a cage in deplorable conditions as well as two cats in a suitcase left on the side of a road.

Executive Director of the Broome County Humane Society, Karen Matson, says they work hard to investigate these cases with law enforcement and raise awareness to stop it. She says bills like the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture or PACT Act that was proposed back in January, gives local shelters hope.

“With acts like this that are going into law in the near future, it just reinforces the importance of treating animals kindly that we as a community and as a whole human group…we won’t stand for animal cruelty,” said Matson.

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill on Tuesday to make acts of animal cruelty a federal crime. The law would make it a federal crime for anyone who intentionally engages in animal cruelty, including burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, and overall injuring animals.

Matson says it’s also a great way to raise awareness on the issue that is present across the United States, including throughout the Southern Tier. However, she says the fight shouldn’t stop there and people should keep working to stop animal cruelty on a local level.

“It can always be stronger and we just have to look at the big picture of each individual instance and everything is different, but in the end, we’re just looking for the best outcome for the animals,” said Matson.

The bill is currently waiting to get approval in the Senate.

Anne Sparaco

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