September 28, 2012
North Dakota Initiated Statutory Measure 5, a new effort to eliminate the acts of animal cruelty, will make its way to the ballots for the election on Nov. 6.
North Dakota and South Dakota are the only states in the country with no felony penalties for those that inflict cruelty on animals. As of right now, cruelty to animals in North Dakota is a class A misdemeanor with up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment.
The current definition of animal cruelty as stated in the North Dakota Century Code 36-21-1-01 includes “overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or unjustifiably; injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal or cruelly work any animal when left unfit for labor, deprive any over which the person has charge or control of necessary food water or shelter as well as leaving an animal unattended in a motor vehicle and poisoning animals.”
The petition title for Measure 5 states that any individual who commits an act of animal cruelty is guilty of a Class C felony.
On Election Day, voters in North Dakota will have a unique opportunity to help animals in a big way. Measure 5 will make extreme animal cruelty to dogs, cats, and horses a felony in North Dakota – like it is in 48 other states.
We will spend the four weeks spreading the message to every corner of North Dakota to vote YES! on Measure 5. But, as with all election campaigns, it costs money to get that message out.