Advocates are fighting for the right to investigate animal abuse across Arkansas.
Now proposed legislation could impact animal safety across the state.
Animal lover and rescuer Debbie Myers drives by the same spot every day and sees the same seemingly malnourished horses.
She took photos and started calling law enforcement, then learned she wasn’t the only one concerned.
“For the last couple of winters they’ve been starving to death,” she says. “They’ve actually been eating the bark off the trees. No one has fed them.”
People in this rural Conway County community have been pushing for action for years, which would be illegal if legislators turn Senate Bill 13 into law.
Desiree Bender is the Arkansas Director of the Humane Society of the United States.
The organization has funded and worked with law enforcement on investigations like a puppy mill bust that turned up hundreds of dogs in Johnson County.
“If SB13 passes, we will never see another animal cruelty case again,” Bender says.
The group has also gone undercover at a Wyoming pig farm, which would be illegal under Senate Bill 14.
The bill’s sponsor says he wants to make sure Arkansas farmers aren’t unfairly targeted.
Myers hopes no matter who investigates, ultimately more will be done protect animals, not their abusers.
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Gary Stubblefield, says he is actively working with Humane Societies across the state to amend parts of the bills.