New Rules for Animal Abuse Take Effect In Pennsylvania
On Monday, August 28th, 2017, a new law took effect in Pennsylvania protecting animals. This law, known as Libre's Law, was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this summer. It increases penalties for animal abuse, adding protection for horses as well as dogs and cats.
Here are the five key elements of the new law:
1. Improving conditions for outside dogs.
Under the new law, dogs can only be tethered for nine hours or less within a 24 hour period. During extreme heat (above 90 degrees) or extreme cold (below 30 degrees), dogs are to be tethered for 30 minutes or less. These dogs must have water and shade available. The tether is to be a minimum of 10 feet, attached to a proper collar. No chain or choke collars. The area must be clear of excess waste. There should be no open sores or wounds to be found on the tethered dog.
2. Additional protection for horses.
The penalties in this law for crimes against horses are the same as crimes against cats and dogs. Prior to this law, most penalties of crimes against horses were similar to traffic and littering violations.
3. Penalties for animal abuse increased.
If neglect causes bodily injury or places the animal at an imminent risk, the penalty for this offense is up to 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine. Or it can be treated as a misdemeanor of the third degree resulting in a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or $2,000 fine.
The penalty for cruelty is a misdemeanor of the second degree resulting in jail time of up to two years and/or $5,000 fine.
For aggravated cruelty, the penalty is a felony of the third degree with up to seven years in jail and/or $15,000 fine.
4. Ensures convicted animal abusers forfeit abused animals to a shelter.
The new law requires that anyone convicted of a felony violation forfeit their animal(s).
5. Civil immunity granted to veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Any veterinary doctors of medicine, technicians and assistants who report animal abuse or cruelty in good faith will be protected from lawsuits according to the new law.
Hopefully the new law will lead to fewer cases of animal abuse and neglect. (Hopefully see none.) At least this a step in the right directions for Pennsylvania in regards to keeping animals and pets safer.
Brigita McKelvie is a REALTOR® (Pennsylvania License #RS297130) with Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, specializing in rural and horse properties and farms in Eastern Pennsylvania. She has an e-Pro® (Certified Internet Expert) certification and a GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation.
Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR
Pennsylvania License #RS297130
Rural and Horse Properties and Farms
Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.
The Premier Equine and Country Real Estate firm serving Eastern Pennsylvania from back yard operations to world class equestrian facilities.
Use a REALTOR with "horse sense" that doesn't horse around when it comes to horse properties.