I recently heard that animals might be included in some laws outlawing stalking. Can this possibly be true?
Jeff San Diego, California
Jeff, there are a handful of states that do include domestic animals and livestock in their respective stalking statute.
Missouri, for example, has the following definition:
Crime of stalking--definitions--penalties.
565.225. 1. As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:
...(2) "Credible threat", a threat communicated with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her family, or household members or domestic animals or livestock as defined in section 276.606, RSMo, kept at such person's residence or on such person's property. The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause physical injury to, or the kidnapping of, the person, the person's family, or the person's household members or domestic animals or livestock as defined in section 276.606, RSMo, kept at such person's residence or on such person's property; …
This statute was enacted in 2008 and I believe that it was the first of it’s kind in the United States.