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Virginia governor signs 'Tommie's Law,' making animal cruelty a felony offense

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday signed a bill into law that will make animal cruelty toward cats and dogs a felony in the commonwealth.


The state's current law requires the animal to die from its injuries for the abuse to be deemed a felony. But under the new law, which comes into effect July 1, anyone who "tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain," or "cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims or mutilates any dog or cat" can be found guilty of a Class-6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.


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