Just because animals can't talk and don't behave like us doesn't mean their lives are less valuable.
However, there are some people who fail to understand this simple concept, and won't even think twice before causing harm to their pets.
Animal rights groups and lawmakers have been working on putting an end to animal cruelty across the country, and one of the ways they plan to do this is through the PACT Act.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was recently reintroduced to Congress and if passed it will make animal cruelty a federal felony.
The bipartisan bill, which made its return to congress thanks to Florida Congressmen Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, will make "crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, and sexually exploiting animals" nationwide felonies.
"All 50 states have felony penalties for malicious cruelty to animals, but states cannot prohibit cruelty that occurs in interstate commerce or across state lines. We need to ensure that we have a federal anti-cruelty statute to prevent such horrid conduct,” Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, told People.
The bill has previously made it to the Senate, twice in fact, but it never passed in the House of Representatives.
Now that it has bipartisan support as well as the endorsement of the National Sheriffs' Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, there's a very good chance that it could soon become law.
On Twitter, Deutch said that the "commonsense policy" had "overwhelming support" this time around so there is hope.
In the 115th Congress there was overwhelming support for legislation protecting animals from abuse, but it never received a vote. Today, I reintroduced the PACT Act with @VernBuchanan and we will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 23, 2019
In addition to protecting animals, Admunson believes that the bill can reduce other crimes.
"Decades ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recognized the seriousness of animal cruelty and its link to escalating violence toward humans," she said.
If the PACT Act becomes law, those convicted could face thousands of dollars in fines and up to seven years in prison.
The bill's reintroduction comes a little over a month after President Donald Trump signed the Pet And Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which aims to put a stop to abuse and abandonment that animals belonging to domestic abuse victims experience.
The act, which is part of the $867 billion farm bill passed in early December, expanded the definition of stalking to include "conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet." This means that it is now considered a crime to threaten the welfare of someone's pet.