WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- North Dakota has one of the worst Animal Protection Laws in the nation, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill that would make animal cruelty a felony. Abusing a pet could result in a fine, up to seven years in prison or both.
Karen Schneider has a passion for all her furry friends.
"They're all unique," said animal shelter volunteer Karen Schneider. "Every dog that we have at the rescue is unique."
"Dogs look up to us," said Schneider. "We are their life, and when they lose that life, they suddenly find themselves at the pound and wherever they happen to end up."
She's one of the many people in the area that have these animals' backs.
Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue posted on Facebook saying they're following a bill that would create stricter laws on animal cruelty.
They say they stand together with all animal advocates to do what is needed to make North Dakota a more humane place for the animals and people that live here.
Shelters say the bill is a step in the right direction.
"I think this law passing is definitely going to bring light to a lot of the things that happen," said pet owner Anna Schaumburg. "I think that it will make a difference in animal's lives and it'll make people think twice and how they treat animals and maybe second guess making a bad choice."
Before you think you're ready for a pet, Schneider says it's important that you do your research, so the animal doesn't end up neglected.
"Take care of your dog, feed it appropriate food, make sure your dog gets heart worm and flea and tick medication," said Schneider.
To learn more about the bill, click here: