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2012 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings

Activist group releases 2012 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings

The "Best Five" states remained the same in 2012, for the fifth consecutive year, with Illinois holding strong as the top jurisdiction for animal protection. California rose from fifth to third position, in part, by strengthening its forfeiture and seizure laws this year, ensuring that fewer animals unnecessarily languish in cages during the disposition of criminal cases—at shelter expense—and do not return to their abusers. Idaho was the most-improved jurisdiction in 2012, jumping eight places in rank and elevating out of the notorious "Worst Five" tier, in part, by enacting its first felony provisions for cruelty, neglect, abandonment and cockfighting. North and South Dakota now remain the only jurisdictions without felony penalties for animal abusers, contributing to these states' longtime positions in the "Worst Five" tier. For the sixth year in a row, Kentucky ranked the weakest state for animal protection.

Animal legal defense fund