A recently approved bill that now heads to the CNMI Senate for similar adoption is being looked at as a tool against animal cruelty and it is being hoped that it would result in a drop in the number of animal negligence cases in the Commonwealth.
According to Saipan Cares for Animals president Beth Pliscou, more often than not, animals are brought into the Saipan Care for Animals office beaten half to death by their owners and nothing has really been done about it for years.
Rep. Edwin K. Propst’s (Ind-Saipan) House Bill 20-24 is being looked at as the first of its kind in the CNMI that seeks to prevent the cruelty and theft of animals.
According to the bill, a person who intentionally mistreats, abandons, or neglects an animal will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and 250 hours of community service at an animal shelter.
The bill successfully passed the CNMI House of Representatives in early February and is on its way to the Senate.
The bill also protects law enforcers and allows them to enter private properties.
Pliscou said that, although she and her staff, together with the Saipan Mayor’s Office, try their best to save and protect animals found in these kinds of situation, it was still common and it has only gotten worse over the years.
Pliscou is hopeful that the public will express support for the bill when the Senate takes it up.
The bill exempts livestock and cockfighting.