Humane Society of Utah asks for maximum penalty in felony animal abuse case

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Murray, UT (Oct. 30, 2019) — Utah man kills girlfriend’s dog after a domestic argument 
The Humane Society of Utah is asking for the maximum penalty in response to charges filed against Yulong Du, a 23-year-old man in Taylorsville, Utah. Du for aggravated cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony, and other misdemeanor charges for assault, criminal mischief and intoxication. According to police, Du threw his girlfriend's dog to the floor, causing the dog to urinate and defecate before shaking in a "seizure-like motion" until death after an argument on Sunday, Oct. 27.
“We were appalled when we heard how this dog was killed,” said Vaughn Maurice, Humane Society of Utah executive director. “The man needs intervention to prevent him from causing further harm to another animal or person since we know there is a high correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. We believe he should receive the maximum sentence for his actions.”
It is a third-degree felony if the person intentionally or knowingly tortures a companion dog or cat. Penalties range from $1,000 to $5,000 and six months to five years.
The Humane Society of Utah fought for nearly eight years to pass Henry's Law, which makes the torture of companion animal a third-degree felony in Utah. Henry, the dog who inspired the law, was tortured by a man who was jealous of his wife's pet.
Utah bill SB 45, sponsored by Senator Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, passed the Utah House in February 2019. This legislation added aggravated cruelty of an animal to the list of offenses that qualify as a domestic violence offense.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, “Multiple studies have found that from 49% to 71% of battered women reported that their pets had been threatened, harmed, and or killed by their partners. In a national survey, 85% of domestic violence shelters indicated that women coming to their facilities told of incidents of pet abuse.”