By Keely Biggs
The Humane Society of the United States released its annual Humane State Ranking for 2012 putting some real insight in how individual states prioritize animal cruelty and humane treatment of animals. The ranking is based on a criteria of laws and penalties enacted by the states to prevent and punish animal cruelty.
California ranked number one again with a 74% and recently banned the hounding of bears and bobcats. The trend seen from the ranking is that states along the West coast and Northeast/New England regions tended to be the most humane. The region with the least humane states was the South. However, South Dakota ranked last at number 51 out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This ranking was due to weak cockfighting laws and almost nonexistent penalties for cruelty.
Overall there were 74 new laws enacted in the U.S. that protect animal welfare in 2012.
So how did we rank at home? Nevada ranked a mediocre 47% fulfilling 35 out of 74 applicable criteria.
This was based mostly on the fact that our state government still hasn’t banned the possession of dangerous wild animals. That’s right! If you want to keep a Grizzly Bear in your back yard in the state of Nevada, no one will call you on it! As a matter of fact, grab a lion, tiger and a chimpanzee while you’re at it. This is important because many go without sufficient food and live in unacceptably small enclosures their whole life. In addition, the average homeowner also often lacks the necessary enclosures to keep the animals from getting loose. This can result in the animal ultimately being injured or shot by police to prevent a possible attack on residents.
This happened last July in North Las Vegas when a woman’s pet chimpanzee, Buddy, escaped his enclosure along with another chimp and was found walking down Ann Road. When the confused chimp made the decision to cross the street gaining access to the residential area on the other side, officers had to make the hard decision to shoot him. CJ, the other escaped chimp, was luckily caught and now resides in a chimpanzee sanctuary in Oregon.
Tune in to the continuation of this story to find out what Heaven Can Wait and our legislators are doing to prevent animal cruelty and improve animal cruelty laws.