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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 11, 2012 09:14 AM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Animal Cruelty Legislation - Angel's Law
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to strengthen our animal cruelty laws. Animal cruelty is a horrific crime and I believe that as lawmakers we have an obligation to enact meaningful protections for animals and ensure perpetrators are prosecuted and penalized.

Specifically, my legislation amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) Pa. C.S. to raise the grading for all summary offenses under Section 5511 (Cruelty to Animals) to a misdemeanor of the third degree. In addition, my legislation raises the grading for the offense of killing, maiming or disfiguring a domestic animal or fowl from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. Subsequent offenses for killing, maiming or disfiguring a domestic animal or fowl would result in a felony of the third degree.

By increasing summary offenses to misdemeanor offenses, I believe we can better ensure that all offenders are processed through the criminal justice system in a way that will enable us to properly monitor animal cruelty perpetrators in the Commonwealth.

We must do our part and put an end to animal cruelty and I believe that starts with increasing penalties for animal cruelty and maintaining accurate records of these heinous offenses. If you would like to join me in sponsoring this important legislation, please contact Maribel Echevarria at 783-9114 or e-mail MEchevar@pahouse.net.

Introduced as HB760