BOISE, Idaho - Repeat animal cruelty offenders could face a felony under a livestock industry-backed bill that the Idaho Humane Society supports but believes could go even further to curb animal torture.
The bill won the Senate Agriculture Committee's 8-1 backing Tuesday.
It makes a third animal-cruelty conviction within 15 years a felony crime punishable with jail time.
The lone dissenter, Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth, fears future bills could wander further into unacceptable animal protections.
But Republican Sen. Bert Brackett supported it, to help undermine a stricter Idaho animal-cruelty voter initiative that's gathering signatures.
Idaho Humane Society director Jeff Rosenthal said he's supportive of this as a first step, but suggests horrific animal torture merits a stronger response.
Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota stand alone without felony animal cruelty laws.