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Arkansas Legislature Adjourns with Victories for Animals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) commend the Arkansas State Legislature and Gov. Mike Beebe for passing several measures to help protect animals this year.

HB 2001, sponsored by Rep. Mary Hickerson, R–Texarkana, allows for judges to include pets in domestic violence orders.  There is a well studied connection between domestic violence and animal abuse and pet abuse is an indicator of domestic violence. Including protections for pets in domestic violence cases protects both animals and families. The HSUS and the ASPCA thank Gov. Beebe for signing this into law.

“The ASPCA has long recognized a connection linking animal abuse and domestic violence," said Sherry Rout, legislative liaison for ASPCA Government Relations. “Sadly, victims of domestic violence often remain in dangerous relationships to protect their pets, so we thank Governor Beebe for voicing his conclusive support for HB 2001 and helping to protect the state’s animals and people.”

Additionally, SB 550 sponsored by Sen. Mary Anne Salmon, D–North Little Rock, passed the legislature. This requires pets adopted through a pound, shelter, humane organization, or animal rescue group to be sterilized before the adoption is complete. Spaying and neutering contributes to pets’ overall health and helps to reduce pet overpopulation. Gov. Beebe has also signed this important legislation into law.

“We applaud the Arkansas Legislature for these important measures forward for the protection of animals and thank the governor for signing them into law,” said Desiree Bender, Arkansas state director for The HSUS. “The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals, and these bills represent a measurable step forward for the state of Arkansas.”

The Senate passed SB 901, sponsored by Sen. Percy Malone, D–Arkadelphia, which would have restricted the private possession of primates as pets. The bill did not pass the legislature but was sent for further study, and will be taken up again in 2012.

During a time of economic turmoil, the Arkansas Legislature also recognized the imperative need for funding animal welfare programs by appropriating $200,000 for animal shelters. This was signed by the governor.


About The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.

To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.


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