Thursday, August 7, 2008

Show Your Support for Senator Madison

Senator Sue Madison (D-Fayetteville) is again championing legislation to make wanton animal abuse a felony in Arkansas, one of only five states that does not have such a law. The Arkansas Farm Bureau, an insurance company that shills for corporate farms and opposes progressive legislation on an array of issues, spread enough disinformation and fear to kill a similar bill last year, falsely saying it was an attack on farmers, hunters, and fishermen. They will try again in 2009, and they will lie again.

You might think that skinning dogs and nailing them to someone's fence only happens in Madison County, or that using a cattle prod and stomping someone's pet dogs on videotape is limited to Newton County. There are instances all across our state. When Robert Wilkerson of Conway stole Don Pace's pet dog then shot, skinned, and ate it, he was charged with a misdemeanor for animal cruelty but a felony for doing "take out" by stealing the dog.

Chances for passage of the animal cruelty bill have improved with Governor Mike Beebe's recently announced support. There was no such support under the previous administration. Mike Huckabee wasn't even concerned when his own son was fired for hanging and shooting a dog at a Boy Scout camp where he was a counselor.

For more information, contact the Humane Society of the Ozarks at 444-7387. Let Senator Madison know that you support her efforts, then contact your state legislators and ask them to support Senator Madison's legislation on animal cruelty. You might also ask local legislative candidates Earl Hunton (D-Lincoln) and Gene Long (R-Springdale) whether they support making animal cruelty a felony offense, right up there with writing a hot check or stealing $250 worth of copper tubing.

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