AUGUSTA (WGME) -- A bill that gives victims of animal abuse a voice had a public hearing Wednesday morning at the State House in Augusta.
LD 1442 is called "An Act to Provide for Court Appointed Advocates for Justice in Animal Cruelty Cases."
The bill is also known as "Franky's Law." It was named after a pug mix from Winter Harbor who was kidnapped from his home last year.
He was tortured, killed, wrapped in garbage bags and dumped into the bay.
The dog’s body later washed up on a beach in front of the Hancock County District Attorney's home.
Two men were arrested and charged.
Franky's Law would allow courts to appoint law students or volunteer lawyers to work for free for animal abuse victims.
The bill's sponsor, Representative Donna Bailey, of Saco, says the bill has received a positive response from the public.
"The advocates will be able to help the court and help the prosecutors to speak for the animals, if you will,” Bailey said.
Those against it say the wording of the bill is too vague.
“There are already things that are in process that we don't feel like this is going to be a benefit to animal cruelty cases. We understand the good intentions behind it, but we just don't feel the language is appropriate,” Director of Animal Welfare for the Department of Agriculture Conservation of Forestry Liam Hughes said.
Franky's Law is modeled after Desmond's Law, a similar bill that passed in Connecticut in 2016.
A work session followed Wednesday’s public hearing.