A recent massive case of horse cruelty has only added fuel to the argument for tougher animal cruelty laws in North Dakota.
A bill adding tougher penalties to the state's animal abuse measure passed the Senate and is now before the House Ag committee.
It increases the penalties, making the most serious cruelty cases a class C Felony for the first offense.
But as Donnell Preskey reports, the bill may be a tougher sell in the House.
Trent Loos: "I'm a ND wanna be."
His is a familiar voice on the radio and a man who has a passion for the outdoors, agriculture and North Dakota.
(Loos) "I'm concerned about unintended consequences. I believe this is wrong."
The agriculture activist has done this before, traveling to other states warning lawmakers about ramifications of bills like this.
(Loos) "This is not going to be the end of people telling you how to take care of your animals."
A main concern brought up by members of the House Agriculture committee how this bill will impact agriculture production.
(Julie Ellingson / ND Stockman's Assoc.) "We want to assure that the language doesn't harm everyday practices of the industry."
Julie Ellingson with the Stockman's Association says if legislators don't pass this bill, an initiated measure will return and be pushed by outside animal activist groups like the Humane Society of the United States.
(Ellingson) "This puts us in a better position makes the case we can take care of these issues."
Representatives heard hours of testimony on the bill, some of it pretty emotional and graphic.
Lawmakers told Amy Brossart to stop playing her voicemail as part of her testimony.
Her ex-husband left her seven messages before stabbing her dog Chloe.
(Amy Brossart / Dog killed) "I returned home to find bloody knife, pool of blood on floor where she laid for 3 hours before taken to vet."
Her ex was ordered to pay a $500 fine and given a suspended sentence.
(Brossart) "Sentence, not lose job over something this minimal."
For those who have witnessed the abuse, tougher penalties for the crime are a must.
(Cameo Skager / Central Dakota Humane Society) "Don't think should be let off because there wasn't an adequate consequence for them."
In the recent case of the horses that starved to death in Burleigh and Morton County. Nearly one hundred horses died, but because of limitation under current law, prosecutors only charged out 9 counts of A misdemeanor.