Animal cruelty law seen as weak

Shortly after Mississippi’s felony animal-cruelty bill became law this year, a hoarder was discovered with about 200 dogs, many starving and reduced to skin and bones.

Under the law, only one charge of animal cruelty can be brought in such cases, and because this was the hoarder’s first offense, she could have been charged with a misdemeanor only, not a felony.

In fact, no one has been charged with a felony under the state’s first cat-and-dog felony abuse law, which Gov. Haley Barbour signed on April 26.

Some supporters of the measure say it’s too early to tell how strong it will be in deterring abuse, while others say it’s not too late to make it stronger.

Clarion Ledger