Cheh To The Rescue
And our last box of chocolates, shaped like cats and dogs, goes to new Councilmember Mary Cheh. She introduced legislation that would revamp the city's animal welfare laws.
Provisions would increase penalties for animal cruelty and require better regulations for animal-related businesses and better safety measures to protect against dangerous animals.
But the bill also would require the city to adopt plans for rescuing animals in the event of a natural emergency like the hurricane that struck New Orleans.
But perhaps the most novel aspect of the bill makes a legal connection between animal cruelty and child abuse. Cheh said studies of child abuse victims show perpetrators often abuse animals, too. The bill requires animal welfare officials to report animal abuse to authorities who deal with families and children as a possible tip-off to child abuse.