Bucks County Herald

Gov. Wolf signs animal cruelty prevention bill

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the animal cruelty prevention bill at a June 28 public celebration surrounded by advocates and members of the legislature.

Act 10, House Bill 1238, was introduced by state Rep. Todd Stephens, and updates and clarifies the existing animals abuse statutes and increases the penalties for abusing animals.

“I am proud to sign the Animal Abuse Statute Overhaul into effect today, strengthening the penalty for animal abuse and neglect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “Today is a day of celebration for all Pennsylvanians, and animal lovers everywhere, and I am proud to be a part of the true collaboration that helped make this landmark legislation a reality.”

The overhaul bill includes:

– Mandatory forfeiture of the abused animal to an animal shelter if the abuser is convicted;

– Stipulations to dog tethering

– Increased protection for horses

– Civil immunity for veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, and humane society police officers to prevent frivolous lawsuits against these professionals when reporting animal cruelty in good faith.

“Today we are sending a clear message that Pennsylvania will not tolerate animal cruelty in our state and will punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Stephens said. “This is the most comprehensive animal protection bill in the Commonwealth’s history and would not have been possible without the determined efforts of my colleagues in the House and Senate, the governor and the thousands of advocates who contacted their elected officials expressing their support for the bill.”



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