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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 7, 2017 09:36 AM
From: Representative Carol Hill-Evans
To: All House members
Subject: Law Enforcement Training Regarding the Use of Non-lethal Force Against Pets

In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution directing the Joint State Government
Commission to establish an advisory committee to assist in a study to determine if the
Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies would benefit from training
regarding the use of non-lethal force against pets, particularly dogs.

Current law states that every law enforcement officer has the legal right and duty to protect himself or herself and the individuals present during an encounter with an animal acting aggressively. However, understanding canine behaviors, such as the difference between imminent danger of attack and benign behaviors commonly exhibited by dogs, is essential for law enforcement to adequately protect themselves, their colleagues, and the general public.

My resolution would specifically determine if implementing policies and procedures pertaining to non-lethal force against pets is appropriate. The Joint State Government Commission would be required to establish the advisory committee within 60 days of adoption of this proposal. Furthermore, the committee would consist of approximately 25 members, including public officials and experts on the issue of law enforcement training relating to the use of non-lethal force against dogs.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.