Bill to Boost Animal Cruelty Law Advances


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A proposal to strengthen Nebraska's animal cruelty law has won first-round approval from lawmakers.

Senators voted 25-0 on Friday on a bill that would allow longer ownership restrictions for people who have abused animals. The bill was inspired by a Malcolm woman who was convicted of animal cruelty and neglect.

A Lancaster County judge said the puppy mill owner, Julia Hudson, ran an "animal Auschwitz," with dogs in cages that were crusted with feces and urine. Hudson was only prohibited from owning dogs and other animals during her two-year probation period, the maximum allowed by state law.

The bill by Sen. Ernie Chambers would allow judges to restrict ownership in such cases for up to five years in misdemeanor cases and 15 years for felonies.