Anyone accused of abusing a domestic animal in the state of Arizona will now face more severe penalties if convicted.
Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed HB2671 into law which he says strengthens punishments for animal abusers.
"Animal cruelty is despicable — and Arizona will not tolerate it," Ducey wrote in a Facebook post.
The new law now classifies the "cruel mistreatment or killing of" a domestic animal as a class 5 felony. The presumptive sentence for that class of felony in Arizona is 1.5 years in prison.
According to an Arizona House of Representatives summary of the law, animal cruelty was previously punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor or class 6 felony.
In a Facebook post, the Arizona Humane Society thanked Gov. Ducey saying the new law would "make a real difference for pets in Arizona."
"This is a huge step forward in protecting our community’s pets and ensuring the punishment fits the crime in the most horrific cases of abuse," the organization wrote.