At the end of August, Governor Wolf expanded laws protecting an animals.
“Today is a day of celebration as the animal abuse statue overhaul officially becomes law,” said Governor Wolf. “For far too long we have heard stories of neglected and abused animals who suffered or died because of deplorable treatment and horrible living conditions. I am proud that we will now hold our pet and animal owners to a higher standard of humanity. I again want to thank our partners and advocates for their work in making this law possible.”The law clarifies what is considered abuse, raises penalties, and works to develop training programs to help law enforcement identify and prosecute animal-welfare crimes. More specifically, it outlines some standards, such as:
- Dogs cannot be tied outside for more than nine hours in a 24-hour period
- Tethers must be either three times the length of the dog or 10 feet, whichever is longer
- Dogs cannot be tied outside for more than 30 minutes in 90+ or -30 weather
- Tethered dogs must have water and shade
- Tethered dogs must be secured by an appropriate collar, not a pinch or chain collar
- Tethered space must be kept relatively clean
- The tethered dog cannot have open wounds or sores
- Convicted animal abusers must forfeit abused animals to a shelter
The law also improved protections for horses by increasing penalties from summary offenses--comparable to littering or traffic violations--to punishment similar to that for crimes against dogs and cats. Penalties for animal abuse were also increased, including jail time and fines. And finally, it protects veterinarians, technicians, and assistants from lawsuits when they report animal cruelty.
The highlights can also be found in this handy dandy graphic!
Let's hope this helps deter abuse and neglect and instead keeps animals safe.