Animal Cruelty Picture

By WVUA 23 Reporter Maria Blough

A proposed Alabama Senate bill has animal shelters concerned about how some cases of animal abuse will be handled in the future.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture would control animal cruelty involving working animals and animal enterprises rather than local or municipal officials under the proposal. It also would allow for legal action against a report of abuse without any justification for the claim.

“The biggest problem with that I feel is, a lot of people, if they see something or they see a problem, we want them to report it,” said Thomas Sahm, the office of programs manager at Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. “We want investigators to go in there and look at the issue. If you’re going to penalize that, it’s going to make people weary of reporting cruelty issues that are legitimate.”

Sahm also worries that the act would repeal the ban on retail sales of cats and dogs within Tuscaloosa city limits.
The bill is now waiting for a vote in the full Senate.

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