You can get just a year for killing an animal, and killing animals is LEGAL in many situations without a consequence. You can also get life in prison for killing a person, and life in prison for medicinal marijuana. There are people who continue to do horrible things to animals, and get away with it. So yes, animal cruelty laws do need to be stricter. Humans are not in any way less or more important than animals. We feel pain, just like they do. Today in the US, every law is either unnecessary, too harsh, or too lax.
Animals are NOT people. The fact that you can get charged and locked up at all for killing an animal that doesn't belong to someone else is idiocy. If killing a dog is so bad to us, but not the Chinese, and if killing a cow is evil to the Indians but not to us, then there is no reason to criminalize animal cruelty. If you kill someone else's dog then it should be criminalized as you are tampering with someone's property, but a random animal is just that-an animal. If you want it as a pet or if you want to kill it it isn't important to the government