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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2016 11:55 AM
From: Representative Ted Harhai
To: All House members
Subject: Cosponsorship: Animal Cruelty Penalties Increase
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes related to cruelty to animals.

Section 5511 (Cruelty to animals) distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony cruelty and the type of animal involved. Misdemeanor cruelty (a fine of $500) occurs when a person kills, maims or disfigures any domestic animal of another person, administers or exposes a domestic animal to poison, or interferes with a guide or service animal. My bill would raise this fine to $1,000.

Furthermore, a person commits a felony of the third degree if he or she willfully and maliciously kills, maims or disfigures any zoo animal in captivity or intentionally administers poison to such. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this paragraph shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both, and the court may also order a presentence mental evaluation. My bill raises this fine to $2000.

Ghandi once said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated." If we continue to call ourselves a great state, we must treat our animals with respect. I hope you join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB2149