An Act To Strengthen the Laws against Illegal "Puppy Mill" Operators
Sec. 1. 17 MRSA §1031, sub-§1-F is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 17 MRSA §1031, sub-§3-B, ¶A, as amended by PL 2007, c. 439, §37, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 17-A MRSA §1201, sub-§1, ¶A-1, as amended by PL 2007, c. 577, §4, is further amended to read:
(1) A Class D or Class E crime relative to which, based upon both the written agreement of the parties and a court finding, the facts and circumstances of the underlying criminal episode giving rise to the conviction generated probable cause to believe the defendant had committed a Class A, Class B or Class C crime in the course of that criminal episode and, as agreed upon in writing by the parties and found by the court, the defendant has no prior conviction for murder or for a Class A, Class B or Class C crime and has not been placed on probation pursuant to this subparagraph on any prior occasion;
(2) A Class D crime that the State pleads and proves was committed against a family or household member or a dating partner under chapter 9 or 13 or section 554, 555 or 758. As used in this subparagraph, "family or household member" has the same meaning as in Title 19-A, section 4002, subsection 4; "dating partner" has the same meaning as in Title 19-A, section 4002, subsection 3-A;
(2-A) A Class D crime under Title 5, section 4659, subsection 1, Title 15, section 321, subsection 6 or Title 19-A, section 4011, subsection 1;
(3) A Class D or Class E crime in chapter 11 or 12;
(4) A Class D crime under section 210-A;
(4-A) A Class E crime under section 552;
(5) A Class D or Class E crime under section 556, section 854, excluding subsection 1, paragraph A, subparagraph (1), or section 855;
(6) A Class D crime in chapter 45 relating to a schedule W drug; or
(7) A Class D or Class E crime under Title 29-A, section 2411, subsection 1-A, paragraph B . ; or
(8) A Class D crime under Title 17, section 1031.
This bill strengthens the laws against animal cruelty by increasing the class of certain crimes from Class D crimes to Class C crimes when 25 or more animals are involved, authorizes the State to recover the cost of relocating animals as part of an animal cruelty case and adds probation as a sentencing option for Class D animal cruelty violations.