Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Susan Witten in “In Focus.”

By meerna Jun12,2024

KENTUCKY — The 2024 legislative session of the Kentucky General Assembly came to an end on April 15, with more than 1,200 proposals introduced and state lawmakers passing approximately 215 of them.

This week on In Focus Kentucky, we take a closer look at House Bill 258, also known as Ethan’s Law, signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky in April 2024.

The Legislature increases the penalty for intentionally torturing a cat or dog and replaces KRS 525.135 from a misdemeanor for a first offense to a Class D felony for a first offense.

HB 258 goes into effect on July 15, 2024, and specifically defines torture as the intentional infliction of extreme pain, physical injury, or death to a dog or cat motivated by willful or wanton disregard while held in captivity.

State Rep. Susan Tyler Witten, R-Louisville, is the bill’s sponsor and joins this segment to provide context for the legislation and explains that when her bill was unveiled, negotiations were necessary with her colleagues to choose the perfect wording of Ethan’s Law , which is the namesake of the bill. Ethan’s story made headlines in 2021 when the Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville helped save a young dog from death. Ethan had experienced severe neglect from his previous owner and weighed only 38 pounds instead of the 90 pounds expected for a dog his size.

“A lot of legislators in rural communities wanted to make sure that their constituents, you know, if they weren’t following the law if they had, for example, an animal that was chained, they wanted to make sure that that was the law. I didn’t consider it torture. And a big part of that was educating legislators working on the bill and just showing them that it doesn’t actually define torture,” Witten explained.

You can watch the entire episode of In Focus Kentucky in the player above.

By meerna

Related Post