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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 30, 2017 03:24 PM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry
To: All House members
Subject: Humane Society Police Officer Immunity (Former HB 2245)
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation to protect the men and women who work to protect abused and neglected animals, often putting themselves in personal danger.

My legislation would provide protection from frivolous and baseless lawsuits arising from the lawful enforcement of the animal cruelty laws. Under current law, humane officers are not afforded any immunity from civil suit. As a result, they and their non-profit employers are forced to waste their limited resources defending against baseless suits – potentially for months – until the suits are thrown out. This causes a tremendous waste of resources that would otherwise go to supporting the mission of protecting neglected and abused animals.

Pennsylvania law already affords immunity from civil suit to many citizens engaged in potentially risky activities for the betterment of Pennsylvania society. Among these are high school sports coaches, volunteer firefighters, county probation officers and emergency responders, to name a few. I want to emphasize that my bill would only provide civil immunity when the officer acts within the scope of authority that is provided in current law. It would not provide protection for acts outside of this authority, nor to any act or omission constituting gross negligence, or intentional or reckless misconduct.

Please support this legislation to support abused and neglected animals and the humane society police officers that protect them.

Introduced as HB1041