FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony

Thursday, October 16, 2014
(photo: AP/Animal Planet)

Animal rights advocates have applauded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) decision to upgrade animal cruelty crimes, putting them in the same category as murders.


Going forward, anyone caught abusing animals will risk being charged with a Class A felony. That’s the same grouping of felonies for violent crimes, including homicides and assaults. Previously, animal cruelty was in an “other” crimes category, making them less important for law enforcement and prosecutors.


The changes are expected to result in more convictions for those harming animals, such as those involved in dog fighting rings.


“It will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains,” Madeline Bernstein, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and a former New York prosecutor, told the Associated Press.


Beginning in 2016, the FBI also will begin collecting data on animal cruelty. This will enable the bureau to learn more about a correlation between animal cruelty and other crimes. Serial killers, for instance, often have histories of torturing and killing animals.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Zeroing In On Sociopaths: Feds Finally Make Animal Cruelty a Top-Tier Felony (by Evelyn Nieves, AlterNet)

FBI Turns Animal Cruelty Into Top-Tier Felony (by Sue Manning, Associated Press)

Registering Animal Abusers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

See all 169 comments


Ray Unseitig 7 years ago
Looks good to me. If Trump would, get in on this and proper nutrition for Americans, He would get a landslide vicotory. Trum for Nutrition, and Animal Rights. ray
Patti Gray 7 years ago
Great news!!! Praying u catch all abusers!!!
Candy sullivan 7 years ago
Thank you. FBI: please go to Hines, Oregon right now as the BLM in in process to multilate and committ horrific animal abuse on scores of our nation's wild horses. Please investigate. You can STOP THIS NOW! Oregon State University is also involved. PLEASE. HELP. THESE. HORSES
Christine Peniaranda 7 years ago
Laws don't mean much. The BLM torments Wild Horses at will. Experimenting o mares, shipping to slaughter. What good is the law.
jerry 8 years ago
Thank God for that.Is dam time to start fixing this fucked up society and if by force they wanted then they should have it.
Chiemilynn Haman 8 years ago
I read alot of the comments and some have said that this is bogus information, so i went to the fbi site and it does say the same thing as this site that animal cruelty will now be counted alongside felonies, which i am so thankful for...the pack horses in the Grand Canyon will be safer now. Thank you, America.:):)
patricia 8 years ago
It is a crime it is murder straight up abusive and cruelty to a living creature
Ken 8 years ago
Bogus story. FBI cannot make laws.
David 8 years ago
Animal cruelty is not a federal crime. Each state has it's own law regarding animal cruelty. The FBI is going to start collecting data on animal abuse cases differently. The FBI cannot make law and cannot get involved in animal cruelty cases. Here is the link to the real FBI site https://www.fbi.gov/news/podcasts/thisweek/animal-cruelty-category-added-to-nibrs.mp3/view
Dee Lynn 8 years ago
What cynical people, give it a chance, they do not post every single thing about everything all at one time. And it does not say the FBI made the laws, they do help initiate laws. Wow, get real.

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