Virginia animal cruelty Ralph Northam, intentionally set on fire.
Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill that will make animal cruelty in Virginia a felony.
Even though the bill is based on a different animal cruelty case in Virginia, many have dubbed it ‘Tommie’s Law’ after a pit bull was tied to a pole and intentionally set on fire in Richmond in February.
The bill increases the penalty for beating, maiming, mutilating or killing a dog or cat to a felony.
It previously was a misdemeanor.
Anyone found guilty could get up to five years in prison.
Senator Bill DeSteph said he had been working on the bill after a dog named Sugar was attacked in Virginia Beach.
Tommie was tied to a pole in a Richmond park and then set on fire after a suspect poured an accelerant on him. He died five days later at the Richmond Animal Care and Control shelter.
Two lawmakers in Washington have also introduced a bill that would make animal cruelty and bestiality a federal felony.
The law in Virginia goes into effect on July 1.