WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS -- If you abuse an animal in Indiana, be ready to pay the price.
A bill that cracks down on people who mistreat animals has passed the House and is headed to the Governor's desk.
House Bill 1615, authored by Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville), calls for harsher punishment against animal abusers.
Under current Indiana law, the base penalty for abandoning or abusing an animal is a Class A misdemeanor. Hatfield's bill raises that penalty to a Level 5 felony, which could be increased if the animal abuser mutilates or kills an animal.
"This legislation appropriately punishes animal abusers and ensured we take animal cruelty seriously," Rep. Hatfield said.
Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to sign the bill, which would become law July 1.