Bill makes cruelty suspects liable for animal expenses

Suspects in animal cruelty cases will be forced to pay up front the costs of the animal’s care under legislation given final passage Thursday.

Senate Bill 356 gives local governments the option to file a petition requesting that the suspect pay up front the estimated costs of the animal’s treatment and boarding.

If found innocent of the charges, the suspect would be able to request a full refund. If expenses for the animal’s treatment are less than projected, a refund of the difference will be issued, said Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, who squired through the House.

The bill, which now goes to the desk of the governor, also would apply to persons who are convicted or plead guilty or no contest to dog fighting.

The Georgia Municipal Association and Association County Commissioners of Georgia requested the legislation on behalf of cities and counties, Golick said.

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“It will take some of the costs off their hands,” he said.

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