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Petition for Harsher Animal Cruelty Punishment

Some Coloradans are pushing for harsher punishments on those facing animal cruelty charges.

They have created an online petition called Make Aggravated Animal Cruelty a Class Five Felony.

The page already has more than 600 signatures.

The petition is in response to a Pueblo man, Robert Heckmann, accused of torturing and killing a 12-week-old kitten last month.

Currently, animal cruelty is considered a class 6 felony, which means the maximum time in prison is 18 months if convicted. The petition asks for that to change and become a class 5 felony. That is a much longer prison sentence.

In order for the law to change, an initiative would have to be submitted to our state government or a Colorado lawmaker can get involved to help.

In addition to this petition, a Facebook page has been set up called
Justice for Loki. Police say Loki was the kitten tortured to death. That page already has nearly 3,000 likes.

We're still in the early stages of Robert Heckmann's case. On Thursday, he was in court where his lawyers asked the judge to limit publicity. The judge gave a gag order, which means lawyers and others involved in the case won't be able to comment at this time. Heckmann's plea hearing is set for next week.


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