Blog Post

Home / Blog Posts / Iowa Votes to Criminalize Animal Cruelty

Iowa Votes to Criminalize Animal Cruelty

The Iowa Senate last week voted across party lines to increase the legal consequences for animal cruelty. The bill would make the crime of animal cruelty an aggravated misdemeanor and require convicted offenders to undergo up to three years of supervision and counseling.

Under the legislation, a second offense would be a Class D felony, carrying a sentence of up to 5 years behind bars. Before this bill can become law, it must first be passed, in its amended version, by the Iowa House and then signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

A study released in January ranked Iowa second to worst in the country for its animal welfare laws because it has minimal legal repercussions for animal cruelty. This recently passed legislation is a huge step in the right direction.

That the bill received bipartisan support is evidence that building a humane world is not a left or right issue – it unites people of all political persuasions. In November, the President signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that makes several of the worst animal abuses federal crimes.

American Humane is pleased to see pro-animal legislation sweeping the country. Thank you to all elected officials who vote in favor of our four-legged best friends.

To support our own advocacy efforts to save and defend animals in need, take action today by donating at

Our first-responders are there when animals need them most

From natural disasters to animal cruelty investigations, we are on the front lines protecting animals in times of crisis.

Contribute Volunteer