West Virginia Senate passes animal cruelty, harassment bills


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Serious animal abuse would become a felony in West Virginia under a bill passed by the Senate.

Senators on Tuesday voted 31-2 to approve the proposal and send it to the House of Delegates.

There was no debate.

The measure would create an charge of aggravated cruelty to animals for seriously hurting or withholding food, shelter or medical treatment from an animal.

It also adds a crime publishable by up to five years in prison for torturing or mutilating an animal.

The chamber also approved a bill to update the state’s harassment statute to include penalties for harassing a person with the intent to cause suicide.