RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re charged with abusing an animal in Virginia, it will now be a felony.
Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill that was dubbed “Tommie’s Law”, which ups the penalty from a misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. The crime now carries a punishment of one to five years in prison.
The new law closes a loophole that allowed the perpetrator to only be charged with a misdemeanor if the animal survived the abuse, animal rights advocates say.