Senators Outline Efforts To Build on Measures to Address, Prevent Animal Cruelty

Senator Rafferty’s Remarks Senator Rafferty’s Remarks

Senator Alloway’s RemarksSenator Alloway’s Remarks

Senator Scavello’s RemarksSenator Scavello’s Remarks

At a news conference today at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Senator John Rafferty (R-44) and Senator Rich Alloway (R-33) outlined plans to continue legislative efforts to combat animal cruelty in Pennsylvania.

The Senators called for the introduction of a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an Animal Abuse Prevention Task Force.

The task force would include professional experts and organizations charged with the responsibility of analyzing current laws throughout the nation that seek to reduce instances of animal cruelty and abuse and report its findings and recommendations to the Senate.

“The Task Force and Commission will examine the issue of animal abuse comprehensively and produce a report with findings of fact, recommendations and proposed remedies,” Rafferty said. “This will enable the Legislature to move toward implementing policies which will ultimately lead to the better protection of animals in our state.”

Alloway and Rafferty said that task force would build on current efforts to address incidents animal cruelty, including Senate Bill 1372.

That measure would change the existing statute pertaining to animal cruelty to bring Pennsylvania in line with the majority of other states in the country by increasing penalties for certain crimes against animals. It also adds a new classification for offenders who cause the death or serious bodily injury of an animal. Violators could be found guilty of a third-degree felony.

“Passage of Senate Bill 1372 was a major step forward in our efforts to reduce crimes against animals and hold those who abuse them accountable,” Alloway said.  “Almost 2,000 cases of animal abuse and cruelty are reported nationally.  But that number reflects just a small percentage of cases that occur – far too many go unreported and far too many animals suffer needlessly.”

The legislation was inspired by the story of Libre, a 4-month-old Boston terrier who was rescued in July from a Lancaster County farm after suffering from weeks of severe neglect.

CONTACT: Ryan Boop – Senator Rafferty  (717) 787-1398