Mississippi recently was ranked one of the Five best states to be an animal abuser due in part to the state's lenient animal protection laws. Currently, abuse crimes are a misdemeanor in Mississippi. The penalties are limited to a short jail stint and small fines.
Though a tougher bill was passed through the state's Senate, it was defeated - for several years in a row - by the House.
Senator Bob Dearing is pushing for the House Agriculture Committee to debate a bill in 2011. House Agriculture chairman Greg Ward needs to allow the debate. Stricter laws are required to protect Mississippi's cats and dogs.
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