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February 2, 2010

Indiana House Cracks Down on Animal Cruelty

The HSUS Urges State Senate to Pass H.B 1258

INDIANAPOLIS — The Humane Society of the United States praised the Indiana House of Representatives for passing a bill that will strengthen the state's animal cruelty laws. H.B. 1258 was introduced by Rep. Linda Lawson, R-Hammond, and will give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to crack down on animal cruelty as follows:

–  Requiring pet stores to provide information to customers about the animal's history.

–  Requiring shelter that protects horses from the elements.

–  Making the promotion of a dogfighting or cockfighting event a predicate offense under the racketeering statute.

–  Making it a Class D felony to attend a dogfight or cockfight.

"I am happy that H.B. 1258 passed the house with such strong bipartisan support. We have worked hard to make this bill acceptable by members on both sides of the aisle," Lawson said. "We hope now that the senate will join us in sending the message that Indiana is not a safe haven for those who abuse, mistreat or fight animals."

The bill passed in the House by a vote of 71 to 26. The HSUS now urges the Indiana Senate to act swiftly to pass this sensible piece of legislation.

 "Last year, The Humane Society of the United States assisted law enforcement with the largest dogfighting raid in Indiana history, in which officials seized 109 dogs from deplorable conditions," said Anne K. Sterling, Indiana state director for The HSUS. "We applaud legislators for taking action to crack down on the entire cast of characters involved in animal fighting, and to protect pets and consumers by ensuring that people have information regarding the origins of puppies in pet stores."

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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