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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 7, 2015 12:03 PM
From: Representative Neal P. Goodman
To: All House members
Subject: The Frackville 15: Enhancing Penalties for Animal Cruelty
 
I will be re-introducing legislation (former HB 15) to enhance the penalties for animal cruelty involving dogs and cats.

This legislation was prompted by a recent horrifying instance of animal cruelty in my legislative district that put a spotlight on the need to strengthen our animal abuse laws. The term "Frackville 15" refers to a severe animal cruelty case involving 15 dogs in Frackville, Schuylkill County.

Currently first-time animal cruelty, like the Frackville 15 case, is a summary offense - the same as failing to license your dog. It only rises to a misdemeanor if someone is convicted a second or subsequent time, or if it can be proven the dog was maliciously tortured or killed. Concerned citizens throughout the state have contacted me to ask that first-time animal cruelty of the nature of the Frackville 15 situation be elevated above just a summary offense. As a result, my legislation will make a first offense of cruelty to animals a third degree misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense would be a second degree misdemeanor.

As with current law, this would not apply to pet owners putting a pet down by means permitted under the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, nor would it impact farm operations. Penalties would also increase from summary offenses to third degree misdemeanors for illegal ear and tail cropping, debarking, surgical birth, and removal of dewclaws.

Previous Co-sponsors: KNOWLES, BOBACK, V.BROWN, CARROLL, D.COSTA, DAY, DEAN, DONATUCCI, FABRIZIO, FARRY, FLECK, FREEMAN, GABLER, GIBBONS, GILLEN, HAGGERTY, HARHAI, HESS, KAUFFMAN, W.KELLER, KIRKLAND, KORTZ, LONGIETTI, MAHER, MATZIE, R.MILLER, MILNE, O'BRIEN, O'NEILL, PETRI, READSHAW, ROZZI, SANTARSIERO, SCHLOSSBERG, STEPHENS, WATSON, WHITE, YOUNGBLOOD, PARKER, HACKETT



Introduced as HB15