A bill that would keep people convicted of animal abuse from owning pets cleared the Indiana General Assembly this week and is waiting for Gov. Eric Holcomb's signature. The bill originated from concerns from Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington and Greater Lafayette animal advocates. (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)
A bill that would keep people convicted of animal abuse from owning pets cleared the Indiana General Assembly this week and is waiting for Gov. Eric Holcomb's signature. The bill originated from concerns from Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington and Greater Lafayette animal advocates. (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)
LAFAYETTE – Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington and the Greater Lafayette animal rights advocates standing behind him all said it was just common sense: If someone is convicted of animal abuse or cruelty shouldn’t be allowed to go out and get another pet.

The Indiana General Assembly seemed agree.

On Tuesday, the Indiana House voted 90-0 in favor of Senate Bill 474, a measure carried by state Sen. Ron Alting, a Lafayette Republican, at the urging of Harrington.

Before that, on Feb. 5, the Indiana Senate voted 49-0 for the bill that would establish a mandatory condition of probation and parole for offenses against animals, saying those convicted would not be allowed to own, harbor or train a domestic companion animal.

The bill is waiting for Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signature to become law.

“Not one vote against it,” Harrington said. “How often does that happen? … I just think that reflects that this law was needed and that it was common sense, like we’ve been saying.”

In the months leading up to the General Assembly session, Harrington had been making the case that Indiana’s animal cruelty laws didn’t sync with those for other offenses.

Since 2015, Harrington’s staff tracked 14 cases with sentences that included animal abuse or cruelty. In each of those, the prosecutor’s office asked a judge to keep the offender from getting a dog, cat or other pet until probation or parole ended. In half of those cases, a judge refused.

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