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Idaho Approves Three-Strikes Law for Animal Cruelty

If signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter, three animal-cruelty misdemeanors could constitute a felony.

Last week, the Idaho legislature approved a measure that could make animal cruelty a felony charge for the first time in the state’s history. Under the new law, people convicted of three animal-cruelty misdemeanors within 15 years could face felony charges and up to a year in jail. All cockfighting matches at which drugs and gambling are present would also constitute an animal-cruelty felony. The bill is currently awaiting approval from the State Senate, which will review the legislation this week. Should Gov. Otter sign the bill into law, North and South Dakota will remain the only states in the country without a felony animal-cruelty law.

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