RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam has signed the bill dubbed 'Tommie's Law,' making animal cruelty a felony in the commonwealth.
Current law requires the animal to die before someone can face felony charges. Starting July 1, animal abusers could be found guilty of a Class 6 felony.
The name "Tommie's Law" surfaced after a dog in Richmond died in February after being tied to a pole and set on fire.
The male pit bull had burns on over more than 40 percent of his body after being tied to a fence post and covered in a flammable liquid.
He was rescued by Richmond Animal Care and Control, but died five days later.
The law only applies to dogs and cats.