Kristine Seabolt, Minot
Any one or group that claims to love animals and is opposed to Measure 5 is lying to themselves, and to other voters. Simply put, North Dakota lawmakers have failed our pets.
Opponents of Measure 5 would have you believe that North Dakota lawmakers are drafting up legislation right now to improve the lives of dogs, cats and horses, but we're smarter than that; We know that North Dakota is one of only two states in the nation without a felony animal cruelty law and we have our legislators (who refused to even study the issue last year) to thank for it.
That's why North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty decided to take the issue of animal cruelty laws to the voters to decide, and the response has been overwhelming. North Dakotans are tired of seeing animal abusers getting a slap on the wrist for some of the most horrific crimes against animals: crushing, dismembering, impaling, or burning dogs, cats and horses.
Measure 5 gives meaningful penalties for these crimes while protecting North Dakota hunting and farming values. The measure leaves room for further improvements to our state law, and yes, there is plenty of room for improvement. Embarrassingly, South Dakota is the only other state in the nation without a felony animal cruelty law.
For the animals, for the sake of North Dakota, and for the safety of our communities, vote yes on Measure 5-it's what any animal lover would do.