If North Dakota can write its own laws, as Weston Dvorak suggests in his letter to the editor, why is it 2012 and we still don’t treat the most malicious forms of animal cruelty as felonies (while 48 other states do)?
The answer: Because our lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the problem and last year they refused to even study the issue. To borrow from Dvorak, our lawmakers keep jumping off bridges together on the issue of animal cruelty; they might as well be throwing cats, dogs and horses off the bridges with them.
North Dakotans are fed up, and that’s why a group called North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty banded together and worked to get Measure 5 on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Our statewide support is tremendous — everyone from veterinarians, groups, ranchers and hunters have endorsed it, and more than 25,000 citizens signed their names to it.
You only achieve that with local support here in North Dakota. We have several national sponsors, but to make this issue about national groups is just smoke and mirrors.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the nation’s largest animal welfare organizations like The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals think it should be a felony to burn a kitten alive. What should surprise us, is anyone who’d argue that someone who tortures a family pet should be treated like someone who parks their car in the wrong spot.
And I don’t know what newspapers Dvorak is reading, but it sounds like he missed the stories this year out of Grand Forks where a pet Chihuahua was beaten to death in a home invasion, and out of Fargo where a woman is charged with whipping her dog by its leash in the air, nearly choking it to death.
When we let people get away with these crimes, we give them the confidence to move onto other malicious crimes against people — that’s a well-documented fact; just Google Jeffrey Dahmer.
If we don’t vote yes on Measure 5, we’ll be sending a message to lawmakers that we don’t care about animal cruelty, and that they can keep jumping off that proverbial bridge together.
I refuse to send that message and I encourage you to vote yes on Measure 5 on Nov. 6. It’s the right thing to do.
JoDee Fandrich Foss, Dickinson