BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon said there are multiple laws regarding animal cruelty, but there are three main statutes.
"You're looking at a dog fighting statute, a general animal cruelty statute, and then specific animal cruelty which is the The Gucci law," Dixon said. "We have a handful of dog fighting cases, and I would say there is always too many of them no matter what the number is of course," Dixon said.
The Gucci Law is named after a dog in Mobile that was handed from a tree and set on fire. The law went into effect 12 years ago and deals with specific animal cruelty cases.
"It is dealing with torturing, skinning, or exchanging/selling the pelt or the fur of a domestic dog or cat," Dixon said.
The Gucci Law and dog fighting are class C felonies.
"It's a crime which you can be imprisoned from a year and a day to ten years," Dixon said.
But, most animal cruelty cases fall under the General Cruelty Law.
"It's going to involve torturing, mistreating, neglecting any type of animal. To kill or injury another person's animal without cause; those would all be considered cruelty to animals," Dixon said.
Those charged with a misdemeanor will only serve up to six months in jail and/or pay a fine.
With each misdemeanor offense, financial penalties can increase to a maximum fine of $3,000, but the jail time never increases.
"We have good laws, but I would like to see us have some additional options when it comes to charging a higher level offense for general animal cruelty," Dixon said.
There is not currently a push for any laws to change but if you want to become involved, contact your local and state wide representatives.
"I would love to see us enhance the penalty like we have for dogs and cats for other animals as well horses and other domestic animals for intentionally torturing, beating, that type of thing," Dixon said.
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