|Posted:||February 7, 2017 03:50 PM|
|From:||Representative Frank A. Farry|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||“Cash’s Law”- Sentence Enhancement for Killing or Maiming Victim’s Animal in the Course of a Burglary (Former HB 2237)|
|Before sunrise on April 18, 2016, a 22-year-old convicted, violent felon and two accomplices were outside a quiet home in Levittown where three children slept, along with their parents and the family dog, Cash. Hearing noises outside, the Cane Corso alerted its owner, who went downstairs to investigate. When he stepped outside, a man grabbed him and held a gun to his head. He said that he needed money and was in a “bad way,” and tried to force his way into the home. Cash managed to slip outside in an attempt to protect the homeowner, and the man turned the gun on the dog. After firing three shots, the man and his accomplices fled the scene. It isn’t difficult to imagine how much worse the situation could have turned out if not for Cash's actions.
After he was finally captured by U.S. Marshals, the perpetrator was charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors, as well as a “cruelty to animals” charge for killing Cash. Unfortunately, a “cruelty to animals” charge is a minor offense in Pennsylvania.
It is inconceivable to me that a person could unlawfully enter onto the property of another individual and shoot and kill the property owner’s dog and pay only a minor fine as a consequence. That’s why I plan to reintroduce legislation to provide for a sentencing enhancement when a domestic animal is harmed or killed during the course of a burglary or criminal trespass. This is a modest but eminently fair proposal that recognizes when one enters the property of another with criminal intent, he or she assumes the risk that there will be a dog on the property. A sentencing enhancement will force the perpetrator to take responsibility for the assumption of that risk and for the harm actually inflicted.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as HB1040