Tuesday, Aug. 27, was a great day in Arizona as HB2671 went into effect imposing stiffer penalties for animal abusers. Prosecutors now can charge a Class 5 felony and ensure sentencing reflects the severity of the crime for anyone who knowingly inflicts cruel mistreatment on an animal.

And the reason to impose stiffer sentences for animal abuse is because there are way too many cases of it.

The new law also has a minimum prison sentence for a Class 5 felony in Arizona, which is nine months minimum and maximum is two years. They can also impose supervised probation and treatment. Under the new law courts cannot lower a Class 5 felony to a misdemeanor.

It is also illegal to leave an animal unattended and confined in your vehicle where physical injury or death will occur. To you animal owners who choose to leave your dog in a hot car while you shop, if your dog should die from the conditions in the car, the penalty could be up to five years in jail. Why not just leave them at home where they are safe?

It hurts my husband and I when we see an animal abuse story on the news. We are forced to turn the channel. And not only is this on the news, but now we must scroll past abuse photos on social media or block the source.

It just breaks my heart to see the innocent eyes of an animal after having been abused.

Buying or adopting an animal on a whim and then losing interest is a form of cruelty. Animals are reliant on you to take care of them, you have a responsibility to do that as you would when you bring a child into the world or adopt. People who have pets should know it’s a lifetime commitment.

The reason animals are unruly is because they don’t have proper training and that is the owners’ responsibility.

Dog owners should seek simple training. It’s not rocket science, they just want to please you. Teach them with their favorite treats. If you don’t know how to train, then hire someone who does. It’s not that expensive. Read books about how to train your dog, find a book about the breed. And if you can’t do that, then don’t have an animal. It’s simple! The shelters are full of animals seeking loving homes from owners who have one excuse after another why they are turned in. We, as animal lovers, cannot stand to see that happen to innocent animals who only want to please and offer unconditional love.

If you are abusing an animal, please give it to someone who can offer it a loving home. If you continue to abuse animals, prepare to face the consequences.

Corrine Ruiz promotes responsible pet ownership.

Corrine Ruiz promotes responsible pet ownership.

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