Gov. Wolf, Libre Celebrate Strengthened Animal Protection Laws Under Wolf Administration

October 25, 2022

Today, Governor Tom Wolf was visited by Libre in his Reception Room at the Capitol to celebrate Pennsylvania being a safer place for animal companions thanks to partnerships under the Wolf Administration to hold pet and animal owners in the commonwealth to a higher standard of humanity.

“Animals are a most loved and honored companion in Pennsylvania, yet until I took office in 2015 our laws in the commonwealth did not hold pet owners to a standard these beloved companions deserved,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’m proud of the bipartisan work that we’ve accomplished during my time in office, in partnership with advocacy groups and Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty ambassador, Libre, on behalf of our pets without a voice.”

In 2014, before Governor Wolf took office, Pennsylvania ranked at a horrifying number 41 on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s U.S. Animal Protection Laws Ranking. The ranking is the longest running, most authoritative report of its kind. Over the course of Governor Wolf’s eight years in office, Pennsylvania made annual improvements in ranking. With an incredible leap from 44 to 24 in 2017, making Pennsylvania the most improved state that year. Now, Pennsylvania ranks 15th in the Top Tier of the report.

Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Wolf has made the following critical improvements for improved animal humanity in Pennsylvania:

  • Made it a misdemeanor if someone knowingly owns or possesses animal fighting paraphernalia.
  • Empowered law enforcement to take action to prevent the needless suffering of dogs and cats left in unattended cars.
  • Created tethering stipulations that limit the continuous chaining of dogs outside, including making it illegal to leave a dog tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Required that animal be provided sanitary shelter allowing them to maintain normal body temperatures and keep them dry all year.
  • Required abused animals to be forfeited to a shelter upon felony conviction.
  • Ensured 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.
  • Added protections for all animals to align penalties for crimes against all animals with penalties for crimes against dogs and cats.
  • Increased penalties for egregious acts of cruelty.

“It was a privilege to stand with Libre and other trailblazers at the Capitol today to underscored Gov. Wolf’s commitment and leadership to signing into law groundbreaking animal protection measures in the commonwealth,” said Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, Kristen Tullo.

Gov. Wolf has served for two terms as a leader consistently at work for the people of Pennsylvania. Learn more about how his Priorities for Pennsylvania have fueled the commonwealth’s comeback, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.

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