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Published October 10, 2012, 06:28 PM

Measure 5 Could Bring Harsher Penalties for Those Who Abuse Animals

North Dakota is one of only two states in which animal cruelty charges are a misdemeanor; other states carry a harsher penalty. Measure five on the November ballot could make North Dakota's penalties stricter and some people don't necessarily think that's better.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ

North Dakota is one of only two states in which animal cruelty charges are a misdemeanor; other states carry a harsher penalty. Measure five on the November ballot could make North Dakota's penalties stricter and some people don't necessarily think that's better.

If passed measure five will increase the penalty for extreme animal cruelty to a living dog, cat or horse from a misdemeanor to a felony. Someone convicted could be ordered to undergo mandatory psychological or psychiatric evaluation and counseling. They could also be ordered not to own or possess a dog, cat or horse for up to five years after the date of sentencing. Opponents of the measure are concerned about other animals safety besides dogs, cats and horses. But people in favor of the measure say it's a step toward bringing North Dakota up to speed. If approved, the measure would take effect 30 days following the election.

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