Temperature Restrictions, Penalties in Place with New Animal Cruelty Laws

Sturdy straw-filled shelter in use by one of the ferals.
Sturdy straw-filled shelter in use by one of the ferals.

November 16, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians to bring pets indoors as temperatures continue to drop statewide. Pennsylvania’s new animal cruelty protections, signed into law in June 2017 and championed by Governor Wolf, included new protections and penalties for cold weather.

“This is the first cold weather season since we strengthened the animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania, which include temperature and shelter restrictions for outdoor pets,” said Governor Wolf. “For far too long we have heard stories of neglected and abused animals who suffered because of deplorable treatment, and with our new landmark anti-cruelty legislation in place, penalties will be enforced for individuals who abuse or neglect an animal.”

Act 10, which strengthens Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws, states that a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, animals must be provided sanitary shelter that allows the animal to maintain normal body temperature and keeps the animal dry all year.

“The Humane Society of the United States, Pennsylvania Vet Medical Association, and a number of state and federal agencies strongly support the anti-tethering components of Act 10, which include long overdue, reasonable stipulations regarding the length of time and conditions in which a dog can be kept outside during inclement weather,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Continuous tethering can cause severe physical damages such as cracked and bleeding paws, frostbite and hypothermia. We encourage the public to help to keep the dogs of Pennsylvania safe and warm this winter by reporting animal neglect to the local humane society police officer, local or state police. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.”

Earlier this year, the governor signed the package of bills, which includes Libre’s Law. The updated measures clarify the definition of abuse and raise penalties and training and education programs are being developed to prepare authorities responsible for protecting animals through identification and prosecution of animal cruelty crimes.

The key components of the legislation include:

Improved tethering conditions for outside dogs

  • No more than 9 hours tethered in 24-hour period.
  • Tether must be the longer of 3 times length of dog or 10 feet.
  • No more than 30 minutes in 90+ or -32-degree weather.
  • Must have water and shade.
  • Must be secured by an appropriate collar — no tow or log chain, nor choke, pinch, prong, or chain collars.
  • Tethered space must be clear of excessive waste.
  • No open sores or wounds on the dog’s body.

Added protections for horses

  • Currently, most crimes against horses are graded as summary offenses — similar to traffic and littering violations.
  • This law aligns penalties for crimes against horses with penalties for crimes against dogs and cats.

Increased penalties for animal abuse

  • Neglect: Summary offense (up to 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine) OR misdemeanor of the third degree (up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,000 fine) if neglect causes bodily injury or places the animal at imminent risk
  • Cruelty: Misdemeanor of the second degree (up to 2 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine)
  • Aggravated cruelty: Felony of the third degree (up to 7 years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine)

Ensures convicted animal abusers forfeit abused animals to a shelter

  • Requires forfeiture of animal of anyone convicted of a felony violation and allows for fortitude upon other convictions.

Grants civil immunity for veterinarians and veterinary technicians

  • Shields licensed doctors of veterinary medicine, technicians, and assistants who report animal cruelty in good faith from lawsuits.

~~~

In Pennsylvania

The City of Pittsburgh updated its tethering laws two years ago. See Legislation in Pittsburgh Protecting Dogs in Severe Weather.

Cats aren’t typically tethered, but the portion of the law that applies to shelter does apply to cats who are outdoors.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture offers links on the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement page for reporting abuses, but the link for Humane Society Police Officers returns a 404 error. This page also under the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture contains a Humane Society Police Officers database searchable by county.

 

 


Read other Press Releases and Publicity


Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy

Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Feline, Nature and Wildlife-themed Holiday Cards

Often I look at a scene before I paint or photograph it and I know it will make the perfect greeting card for a holiday or sentiment or some greeting and eventually most of them do. These cards are all 5″ x 7″ , printed on 12 pt. card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.  Read more and order.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.


© 2017 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun! —
PORTRAITS OF ANIMALS WEBSITE FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL
PATREON

HOME


 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Temperature Restrictions, Penalties in Place with New Animal Cruelty Laws

    • November 24, 2017 at 5:49 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, finally, a little step in the right direction, although it’s pretty dog-centric, I’ll take it!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

healthlibr.com