Hearing on Bill to Toughen Penalties for Animal Abuse Draws Strong Support


Guam – The legislature held a public hearing Tuesday on a bill that would make animal abuse that causes injury a class a misdemeanor, and animal abuse that results in serious injury or death a 3rd degree felony. 

If passed, animal owners would be required to provide their pets with continuous access to an area with adequate space to exercise, an area which is reasonably clean and free of excrement, good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, and veterinary care.

The Bill was introduced by Senator Judi Guthertz and drew strong support from members of GAIN and others who testified.

Read Bill 31

However, 671 bully club member David Crisostomo testified in favor of the bill but with some reservations. Crisostomo says the idea of adequate space to exercise is too subjective.

“One of them is the idea of having adequate space and room for exercise that is a very subjective thing and anyone coming in might think that a 30 ft. run is not enough space for a rottweiler or mastiff,” explained Crisostomo.

 Crisostomo is also concerned about a section in the law that would allow authorities other than the police to enter into private property to investigate possible animal cruelty and confiscate animals. He says that entering private property should be reserved for law enforcement officers.