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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=23921
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 17, 2017 12:06 PM
From: Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
To: All House members
Subject: Mental illness evaluations for animal hoarders
 
Scientific research has tied acts of animal cruelty to future crimes against people, domestic violence, and even as a precursor to serial killing. The FBI has begun tracking animal cruelty in its national crime database in recognition of the seriousness of the offense and its relationship to future acts of violence.

There are two categories of animal abuse offenders where effective intervention by a mental health professional may provide the pivot point between a future life of crime or serial reoffending, juveniles and hoarders.

Juvenile acts of animal cruelty may be indicative of abuse, serious mental health disorders, and begin a path toward a life of crime without effective intervention.

Anyone who has watched the show Hoarders on A&E has seen the often horrific living conditions in which those suffering from this mental illness are found. Now, imagine how those conditions are worsened when it is hundreds of live animals being stockpiled. Hoarding of animals can have severe and dangerous consequences to those who live in or visit the home, including exposure to toxic ammonia levels.

Under current law, a court may order a presentence mental health evaluation for those convicted of animal cruelty, however, this legislation will require that any juvenile or any person who has been identified as an animal hoarder must have a mental health evaluation prior to sentencing to assist the court in identifying the specific needs of that individual to prevent future crimes.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.