Animal rights are not right

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Animal laws in the state of Mississippi need to be modernized.

For far too long the Magnolia State’s friends with four legs have gotten the short end of the support stick.

Currently, there are laws that are supposed to provide some protection for dogs and cats, but most don’t even come close to providing worthwhile protection.

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When a person decides to take in too many dogs, but for some reason can’t adequately care for them, they would only face one charge, no matter how many dogs were neglected. In addition to only facing one count, that offense is a misdemeanor and if convicted carry a small fine and minimal jail time, if any.

Cats kept inside fall into the same category, but cats kept outside are a different matter.

That’s because cats that are not cared for by humans revert to a feral nature, enabling them to care for themselves, but in turn become much less friendly to humans.

Finally, livestock is an entirely different story. Cows, horses and other animals typically raised and cared for on a farm have a very different set of protections.

Today’s story about a man being charged in the neglect of more than 100 cattle is an example. The suspect allegedly allowed a massive number of animals die or fall into a state of health that was so dire, he was arrested for their neglect.

In this instance, he was charged for each animal he neglected, but the offenses are still listed as a misdemeanor.

For years, local animal rights groups, senators and volunteers have advocated for increased protections for all animals.

But each time their efforts just aren’t enough to bring about change. 

It’s time for every animal lover in this state to join together to bring about the necessary change to adequately protect our pets and our livestock.