There are now tougher penalties for torturing animals in Iowa. Governor Tom Vilsack signed the bill into law at an animal shelter north of Des Moines as about a dozen animal lovers and a dog named Elmo watched. Vilsack called it an important piece of legislation worked on by “ordinary folks.”Those found guilty of animal torture face up to two years in prison on the first offense, and would be forced into counseling. A second conviction is a felony and would land someone in prison for up to five years. Vilsack says research shows many folks who abuse people abused and tortured animals first.The light sentences given two young men convicted of killing 23 cats in Fairfield outraged many animal lovers two-and-a-half years ago. Vilsack is from nearby Mount Pleasant and says that case left people appalled and shocked.
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