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Animal advocates want stricter cruelty laws

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 04 2014 01:07:41 AM CST

Animal advocates want stricter cruelty laws

PUEBLO, Colo. -

The lawyer for a man accused of videotaping himself killing a kitten wants to prevent information from being released to the media.

Robert Heckmann, 25, is accused of attempting to drown and eventually strangling a 12-week-old kitten. Heckmann's lawyer said in district court Monday he wants to limit pre-trial publicity.

Heckmann was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. If convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison. Some critics said that's not enough. 

Joe Stafford, the humane society's director of animal law enforcement, said Colorado's animal cruelty laws are "middle of the road" compared to other states.

"As pet owners, as pet lovers we're anything but middle of the road," Stafford said. 

Hundreds have turned to Facebook to express their sadness and outrage. Steve Malcomson created a page titled "Justice for Loki" that has nearly 2,000 followers.

"I'm trying to get some legislation passed to make aggravated animal cruelty a harsher crime than it is," Malcomson said. 

Aggravated animal cruelty is a Class 6 Felony, the lowest felony offense.

Heckmann will be in court Feb. 6. 

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