RALEIGH, N.C. -- Lawmakers have recommended raising penalties in North Carolina for people who maliciously abuse or kill animals.
A dog that had been beaten and burned in Greensboro was in the committee room as members approved the measure Tuesday.
The bill makes it a low-grade felony instead of a misdemeanor if a person intentionally starves an animal to death. A person would be guilty of the same felony if an animal is tortured, mutilated or disfigured.
The punishment would be up to eight months behind bars, but a judge could agree to community service or probation instead.
The bill was introduced after a man received probation for abusing a female pit-bull mix. The dog was later adopted and named Susie and was at the meeting with supporters.
The measure now goes to another committee.
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