Pets would be better protected and animal abuse offenders punished more severely under legislation being discussed by Iowa lawmakers.
Republican Rep. Bobby Kauffman, of Wilton, says he hopes to prevent animal abuse by increasing criminal penalties.
And Des Moines Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen says she backs a proposal to include pets in domestic abuse protective orders in hopes of compelling victims to leave dangerous situations more quickly, rather than remain out of fear that an abuser will hurt a pet. The measure also could better protect pets in such situations.
Lobbyists are also pushing for a bill in the Senate to ban the slaughter of horses, but lawmakers so far haven't introduced such a bill.