Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania Needs Additional Protections for Animals

October 12, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today called on the legislature to take action on legislation to continue to increase protections for animals in the commonwealth.

“While we’ve had a year of progress, we also know that we must do more to protect animals from harm in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “Higher standards of care will help save the lives of animals in the commonwealth – and I am asking that the legislature get legislation to my desk as soon as possible.”

Last year Governor Wolf signed landmark legislation, including Libre’s law, which strengthened Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws. Since then Pennsylvania received national recognition for its marked improvements for animal protection laws. Both the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Legal Defense Fund reported that the animal abuse overhaul package that Governor Wolf signed into law in June 2017, was a key reason why Pennsylvania’s rankings improved.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, prior to the signing of this legislation, Pennsylvania was home to 12 of the 100 puppy mills on the organization’s ‘Horrible Hundred’ list.

“When I signed Act 10 of 2017, we began to hold our pet and animal owners to a higher standard of humanity,” Governor Wolf said. “Still, there is no excuse for Pennsylvania to be anywhere on this list. We are overdue for increased transparency standards and new protections.”

The current legislation under consideration include:

  • HB 1216 prohibits the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal. It will provide for conditional civil immunity to law enforcement officers, animal control officers, humane society police officers, and emergency responders for any property damage resulting from entering a motor vehicle in order to rescue a cat or dog. This bill will allow law enforcement to remove any animal from a vehicle, without liability for damages, when they see an animal in distress, whether that distress is caused by heat, cold, or other circumstances.
  • SB 1154 increases awareness when Pennsylvanians purchase dogs, cats, or rabbits from pet stores by requiring an increased level of transparency regarding the source of the animals being sold to Pennsylvanians. Many consumers are unaware of health and behavioral issues when they purchase animals from pet stores, imposing financial and emotional costs on consumers. This bill increases transparency and increases demand for animals from animal shelters and rescue organizations.
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