Push to toughen punishment for animal abuse in Idaho expands

Push to toughen punishment for animal abuse in Idaho expands
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New legislation is being drafted to increase the penalty for people who hurt pets in Idaho.

This move comes after a dog in Idaho was beaten to death by its dog-sitter last year. Dakota Goin left her dog Hank in the care of a neighbor. When she came home, Hank had suffered trauma to his head, internal bleeding and had broken ribs. He died on the way to the veterinarian’s office. Austin Matott, the person watching Hank, was found guilty of animal cruelty and harassment, which is a misdemeanor in Idaho.

Hanks owner has now launched a campaign to strengthen Idaho law. Goin believes a harsher penalty will deter people from abusing animals. The proposed law, known as Hank’s Law, would make animal cruelty a felony in Idaho.

A republican state senator from Coeur d’Alene said the proposal is being drafted and will likely be introduced when lawmakers reconvene in Boise in 2019. Senator Bob Nonini said there are stickers available at Prairie Animal Hospital in Coeur d’Alene to support Hank’s Law.