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This bill would allow an owner found to have cruelly treated an animal in counties or municipalities with a population of at least 700,000 people to be ordered to pay the county or municipality's attorney fees.
This legislation is a case of overcriminalization. A person who is found at trial to have committed an offense under this chapter is liable for a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine up to $2,500, confinement in jail for up to 180 days, or both. Add a a person's own court costs and legal defense costs and the total consequences are already significant. Adding still further to the costs by requiring such a person to also be liable for the government's costs makes the total penalty disproportionate to the offense. For these reasons we oppose HB 748.