President Trump makes Animal Cruelty a Federal Crime


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – President Trump has now made it a federal crime to commit animal cruelty or torture.

“The President says this is a crime and Congress and the House of Representatives says this is a crime,”says Jamie McAloon, Executive Director of Mckamey Animal Center

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Its called the PACT law, the The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

It’s the new bill President trump signed into law on Monday and it expands the 2010 law signed by former president Barack Obama that banned videos of animal cruelty.

“This common sense legislation restricts the creation or distribution of videos or images of animal torture. It’s important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society,”says President Trump.

The law bans the intentional burning, suffocating, impalement or other serious harm to “living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians.”

Executive Director of McKamey says this new law will be a wake up call for some people.

“You would be surprised how many times when we confront people and we let them know they are being charged with this crime, they’re shocked there’s some sort of sentence that goes with it. So I think this whole media about PACT law is definitely going to tell people that animal cruelty is serious and you go up to seven years,”says McAloon.

Locally, the state of Tennessee has been fighting animal cruelty for years.

McKamey is currently investigating a dog fighting case where a female pit bull was left on the side of Lightfoot Mill road.

The dog suffered traumatic wounds that are consistent with years of dog fighting.

There is a one thousand dollar reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

McKamey asks that if you see something you even think may be animal cruelty to call them or the police and someone will investigate.

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Joeli Poole joined the WDEF News 12 Team in April 2019 as a Reporter and Producer. You can find her reporting during the week and when not on camera; she's producing the 6 and 11 shows. Joeli grew up with a love for reporting, starting in middle school. She has been the anchor for her middle and high school TV stations, along with the Sports Anchor for her College TV Station. Joeli grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Tennessee when she 10 years old. She went to Cleveland Middle school and Walker Valley High School. She graduated in May of 2019 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor's degree in Communications. Being from the area, Joeli loves being able to help tell the stories of her community. In her spare time, Joeli enjoys watching her LSU Tigers, hiking, and playing with her dog. Feel free to email any story ideas at