MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) - Monday was a great day for the animals of Alabama. In the final day of the Alabama Legislative Session HB 27 passed and is now headed to Governor Robert Bentley's desk.
More than a year ago, FOX10 News profiled Alabama's laws protecting animals. We have showed you case after case of those convicted of animal cruelty getting off with a slap on the wrist.
Many of you spoke out and Monday, May 20 it paid off.
Nearly 5,000 of you signed our online petition to strengthen laws protecting animals and with the passage of HB 27 you were heard.
The bill passed with only one senator voting against it.
The bill strengthens penalties for animal cruelty; not just for dogs and cats, but all animals.
It was written by Baldwin County law student and founder of the U.S. Animal Law Center Linda Dooley.
The bill's proud sponsor in the House of Representative Joe Faust said it is a people's bill. He introduced it in the House of Representatives, where it went unopposed.
"I think animals will appreciate it," said Faust.
The bill puts tools in the hands of prosecutors to go after those committing these cruel crimes.
The bill's Senate sponsor Senator Marc Keahey is one of those prosecutors.
"That's what we needed in our DA's office back home is the tools to allow us investigate cases knowing that we can prosecute someone for an aggravated offense," said Keahey.
Those tools are on the way.
"Thank you. Thank you to everyone... and Channel 10 goes right to the top," said Faust.
Dooley said she will take a day to rest and then pick back up on next year's bill.
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