Lawmakers are cracking down on animal cruelty with a bill that would make it a category D felony to intentionally maim, mutilate or kill a companion animal.
The Assembly approved the legislation 34-8. Senate Bill 223 is also known as Cooney's Law, named after a dog that was gutted by its owner in 2010. The owner claimed the dog had swallowed a mouse.
The bill would also make it a crime to separate puppies or kittens from their mothers before they are at least 8 weeks old.
The bill goes to the Senate.