PORTLAND — An animal protection group is giving Maine high marks for its laws against cruelty.

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A report put out by the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranks states on their animal cruelty laws based on how comprehensive they are, and the severity of their penalties for people who are convicted of cruelty.

Maine was ranked No. 2, behind Illinois and ahead of California, Michigan and Oregon. Kentucky was judged to have the least-protective animal cruelty laws, behind North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota and New Mexico.

Vermont ranked 20th, and New Hampshire was 27th.

The California-based group has been putting out annual reports ranking states on animal cruelty laws for seven years.