KINGWOOD, W.Va. — Recently, in Kingwood a man allegedly crushed a kitten with a cinder block, weeks prior to that a woman in Clarksburg allegedly choked a cat and threw it against a wall, killing it. President Donald Trump recently signed the PACT(Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act) Act into law that would make those crimes felonies.
The act bans abusive behavior including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other bodily injury toward any non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians.
Humane Society of the United States Law Enforcement Officer Ashley Mauceri said the act will be good for animals and animal lovers.
“This is such an important day, our first federal animal cruelty law,” Mauceri said. “We’re pretty excited over here.”
Mauceri said the law is important because it closes a loophole left from the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act.
Animal crush videos depict animals being tortured by being burned alive, nailed to floors and stomped on by women in high heels.
“What we soon found out was that there was this underlying loophole which made it such that while the sale or creation or the distribution was illegal, the actual abuse of the animal was not a crime under federal law,” Mauceri said.
The PACT Act allows officials to file charges when animal cruelty occurs in a federal jurisdiction, when animals are moved across state lines or the internet is used.