Poll: Do you think there should be stricter animal cruelty laws?

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Inspired by a 4-month-old Boston terrier, known as Libre, found emaciated and with severe mange last month, Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman and Pennsylvania lawmakers want to change current animal cruelty law statues.

Stedman said at a press conference Thursday he thinks increasing the grading of offenses and creating stiffer penalties, upon conviction, should occur.

Currently, cruelty officers are appointed by Lancaster County’s President Judge – if the aspiring officer has completed the required hours of training. There is no background check and no feedback is solicited from the district attorney, per current law. Stedman is pushing to revamp hiring requirements and appointment procedures for cruelty officers.

Background checks should be standard, Stedman said. He went on to say he believes the district attorney should have a voice–not veto power–in appointments of cruelty officers, whom have arrest powers and authority to enter private properties and seize animals and, or property.

Stedman is calling for the suspension of Susan Martin, an animal cruelty officer and executive director of the Lancaster County SPCA. In the petition, prosecutors allege that Martin conducted her authority to enforce cruelty laws in a “substandard” fashion.

Additional background on Libre can be found here.

Do you think there should be stricter animal cruelty laws?