Victory! Susie’s Law Passes in North Carolina

On Wednesday, North Carolina’s Governor Beverly Perdue signed Susie’s Law, which reclassifies animal cruelty from a Class I to a Class H Felony, giving judges the ability to send convicted abusers to jail for up to 10 months. 

Susie’s law, which will take affect December 1, was inspired by a puppy who was found in a Greensboro park last August and made a miraculous recovery after being severely burned, beaten and left for dead for approximately two weeks before being discovered. 

Susie’s attacker, Lashawn Whitehead, received only probation for animal cruelty and six-eight months in jail for setting personal property on fire. 

Whitehead’s sentencing inspired Susie’s supporters, who were disappointed with the sentencing, to fight for tougher laws to protect animals in North Carolina. Thanks to their hard work, it’s now a felony for a first offense to “maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill an animal.” 

“Susie inspired a lot of us to stand up and say in North Carolina we value our animals,” said Perdue. “I can’t imagine what I would have done or what I would have said or how angry and hurt I would have been if somebody had done to our dog what was done to Susie. I think it’s absolutely unacceptable.”

creative commons


Ann B
Ann Babout a year ago

way to go if the other 49 will follow one great thank you

Karen Everton
Karen E4 years ago

This law should apply in ALL states!! I hope more people can write this into laws in other states to help put an end to animal cruelty. That is how murderers start, with animal cruelty. Animals have just as much right to the pursuit of happiness as humans do. Thank you Alicia Graef.

Sherlee M.
Sherlee M.8 years ago

susie is beautiful! its a damn shame it takes that before something is done ! now lets hope it gets the enforcement it needs and deserves!

Lin Moy
Lin M8 years ago

poor dog

Pamela A.
Pamela A8 years ago

That such good could come from such tragedy: Susie's resilience is only exceeded by her gentle spirit of forgiveness.

Autumn Montgomery

Susie's Law's facebook page is still posting updates on how she is doing!!!

xochitl r.

alto a la violencia contra los animales

Mandy D.
Mandy D.9 years ago

What a beautiful yet sad story! I can not imagine the evil that did this to this sweet dog. Please always support our local Animal Shelters and speak for the innocent who cant speak for themselves. They need us:))

johan l.
paul l9 years ago

It is almost impossible to believe that the little puppy survived. You sure it was found only after two weeks?
In any case, the tougher they make the law, the more these sadists will think before they do something similar!
Hope the little dog makes a 100% recovery and finds a good home!
The little thing deserves it!

Jane J.
Jane J.9 years ago

Very moving! I'm glad she was able to get such good help and make such a wonderful recovery.

The law needed to be enacted. We have known for a long time that animal cruelty is a marker for anti-social personality traits. It's a shame Susie (and others) had to suffer so much before we attached a stiffer penalty to it. Hope this an effective deterent!