LITTLE ROCK A bill making aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first offense has been signed into law.
Gov. Mike Beebe on Wednesday signed the bill that makes aggravated animal cruelty on first offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison. The bill also includes a five-year sentencing enhancement for anyone convicted of torturing an animal in the presence of a child.
Animal-welfare groups had sparred with farmers and hunters over past attempts to stiffen the state's animal cruelty laws, but supported this bill after negotiating a compromise.