When it comes to protecting our furry friends, the Yellowhammer State leaves a lot to be desired.
According to the most recent rankings by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Alabama comes in as the 10th worth state in the country when it comes to the Best & Worst States For Animal Protection Laws in 2016.
The ranking, which is the longest-running considered the most authoritative of its kind, assessed the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 4,000 pages of statutes across 15 distinct categories and ranked their findings accordingly.
States, like Alabama, that find themselves at the bottom of the rankings have animal protection laws the ALDF says are lacking. These states all have “severely restricted or absent felony penalties for the worst types of animal abuse, inadequate standards of basic care for an animal, and lack of restrictions on the ownership of animals for those convicted of cruelty to animals.”
But there is good news for Alabama animal lovers — the state is starting to move in the right direction when it comes to protecting animals. Last year, the state added — for the first time— felony penalties for cases involving extreme animal cruelty or torture; along with felonies for repeated or aggravated animal neglect.
Alabama’s not the only state starting to improve. The past five years of the Rankings Report reveal more than three-quarters of all states have significantly improved their animal protection laws.
“The Animal Legal Defense Fund works year round to strengthen laws, and we are gratified to see that reflected in the Report,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Despite this, there’s still a long way to go in animal protection, and Americans should use the Rankings Report as an indicator of where their home state can improve.”
Here’s how Alabama compares to the rest of the country: