Senate Passes Comprehensive Animal Abuse Prevention Measure

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HARRISBURG — The Senate unanimously approved legislation today that combines a number of proposals designed to prevent animal abuse and neglect, according to Senator Richard Alloway II (R-33).

House Bill 869 includes measures to prevent tethering dogs in unsafe conditions, strengthen penalties for animal abusers and include horses under Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws.

“Several recent heartbreaking cases of abuse and neglect have made it abundantly clear that we need to do more to protect defenseless animals. This bill brings together some of the most important measures that have been introduced to prevent abuse and hold abusers accountable for their actions,” Alloway said. “Passage of this legislation is a tremendous victory for pet lovers across the state, and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the House of Representatives will build on this victory and help us get this bill to the governor’s desk.”

Some of the provisions of the bill include:

  • the creation of a new definition of “aggravated cruelty to animals” in order to provide tougher penalties for crimes committed against animals. This provision mirrors Libre’s Law, which Alloway introduced last month.
  • a prohibition against tethering dogs for an extended period of time without basic needs, such as water and shelter. Similar legislation sponsored by Alloway was approved by the Senate last year.
  • the addition of equine animals to Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws. This provision mirrors Cordelia’s Law, a bill introduced by Senator John Eichelberger (R-30) and approved by the Senate last year.
  • a provision for the forfeiture of animals by abusers.

The bill was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments. If approved by the House, it will be sent to the governor to be signed into law.

CONTACT:  Jeremy Shoemaker (717) 787-4651