Court decision sparks new legislation to strengthen existing animal abuse laws on Guam

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Guam – “Malicious.” This is one word is apparently the key to ensuring that the intent of the Guam animal abuse law is not misinterpreted.

Standing up for the rights of animals,  Sabina Perez is pushing legislation to strengthen the current animal abuse laws of Guam. Bill 49-35 adds one word to the existing law, “malicious.”

“In order to prevent similar future rulings, Bill 49-35 amends the law to apply a third-degree felony charge to anyone who “cruelly or maliciously causes the death” of an animal. With this change, all cruel or ill-intentioned killings of animals will be considered a felony. Hunting game, self-defense, and other legal exemptions will continue to exist in statute,” said Perez.

The legislation comes on the heels of a decision by Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo dismissing all felony charges against Gerald Wayne Cruz the second, who was indicted on shooting and killing a neighbor’s dog and other neighborhood pets in Yigo. Bordallo cited there being no proof that the pets underwent pain prior to dying as the basis for his decision.

A decision which has sparked outrage in the community.

“The recent court ruling creates a disturbing legal precedent. Bill 49-35 makes clear the original intent of the law, which is to protect all animals from senseless cruelty,” said  Perez.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.