Kristie Skunberg, Fargo
It's a wonderful time to be an animal advocate in North Dakota. Two groups are working hard to strengthen our animal cruelty laws. North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty is doing so by a ballot initiative and North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care has proposed legislation. I support both groups and you should too.
I have been gathering signatures for the ballot initiative because I believe this is the most immediate way to address the paltry penalties assessed for those who would commit the most malicious, intentional and cruel acts against our companion animals. We are well on our way to qualifying for the ballot and I am confident the people on North Dakota will vote to pass this measure. We cannot afford to wait on a Legislature that has failed to strengthen our animal cruelty laws for years. Last year they couldn't even agree to study the issue.
I will also support North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care's proposal to strengthen animal cruelty laws by working with the Legislature next year. They can continue to pursue comprehensive reform regarding neglect and hoarding and build on the groundswell of support passing the initiative will create. There is no need to choose between these groups. North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty supports the efforts of North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care. It is disheartening that North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care doesn't support the efforts of North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty. This is about the animals after all isn't it?