People convicted of animal abuse could be banned from owning, babysitting or living with an animal if a Denver Democrat’s bill becomes state law.Judges would also get the option to include therapy or anger management classes as part of a sentence.
“I think the real important piece of this legislation is the component that deals with judges being able to sentence folks to anger management or mental health treatment,” Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, said.“There’s a correlation between people who commit acts of violence against animals and those same people committing acts of violence against people
.”HB19-1092 would give judges the discretion to prohibit adults and juveniles convicted of misdemeanor animal abuse from “owning, possessing, caring for, or residing with an animal of any kind” for a certain number of years.
The ban would be mandatory for people convicted of felony animal abuse.Valdez, a first-year lawmaker, modeled the bill after a California law that bans pet ownership for five years after a misdemeanor conviction and 10 years for a felony.
But he said he got some pushback from members of the House Judiciary Committee where the bill is scheduled for its first hearing Thursday. He plans to change it during that hearing to give judges more leeway when it comes to sentencing.
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