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New Animal Cruelty Laws To Take Effect July 1

It was 95 degrees the day the Governor signed the bill into law that among other things seeks to protect animals locked in hot cars and chained in the sun.

At Hanover County’s Animal Control shelter, Chief Jeffrey Parker says, “We get calls for, of course, dogs in vehicles in these type of temperatures and also people who are not providing actual care with food and water and shelter.” He says they warn people and work with people first, but some they take to court. “We do have great success in court.”

And beginning in July, the charges and the penalties are more serious. Animal cruelty becomes a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $2,500, and the animal does not have to die for it to become a felony as before.

“It helps us make people be more responsible for their animals.” And he says when it is hot, they will get calls. Everyday. Everyday.

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