South Dakota takes a beating (along with Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa and Idaho) because of its lack of laws pertaining to animal treatment:
Based on a detailed comparative analysis of more than 4,000 pages of statutes, tracking fourteen broad categories of provisions, the report recognizes the states where animal law has real teeth and calls out those like Kentucky – the single worst in the nation for animal protection laws for the fifth year running – where animal abusers get off easy. ALDF’s sixth annual state rankings report, the longest-running and most authoritative report of its kind, ranks all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories for the general comprehensiveness and relative strength of their respective animal protection laws.
Why is Kentucky in the dog house when it comes to getting tough on animal abuse? Among other weaknesses in its animal protection laws, the Bluegrass State has no felony provisions for extreme neglect or abandonment, no restrictions on future ownership of animals following a conviction, inadequate standards of basic care for animals, no requirements for mental health evaluations or counseling for offenders, inadequate animal fighting laws, and veterinarians are prohibited from reporting suspected cruelty or fighting.
No word on whether South Dakota, et al are also the worst states for humans.
The article reads like a press release for ALDF–though it purports to be an actual news article. But it is interesting to note absolutely no dissenting voices or context is given.
I believe that South Dakota (and the other listed states) are guilty of laws which permit animals to be treated like, well, animals–and not as fuzzy humans from another mother.