It is not a novel idea that entities other than humans can be considered crime victims. Businesses, corporations, neighborhood associations, and government entities have been defined as crime victims in state statutes. Including protections for animals as crime victims is a natural progression in the development of the law.
Traditionally, Lady Justice is portrayed as wearing a blindfold as she holds the scales of justice. The idea is that justice should be blind -- impartial and dispensed without regard to the classes of persons who appear before her. Ironically, however, justice has been blind in another way, too: blind to all living beings except humans. To this day they remain invisible to the legal system.