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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 12, 2017 09:00 AM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
I plan to introduce a bill that will strengthen the training and oversight of humane society police officers. Although these specialized officers play an important role in enforcing our state’s animal cruelty laws, and while doing so relieve our local governments of the cost of asking our municipal police to perform that role, it is absolutely necessary that humane society police officers be rigorously trained so that they can succeed at their duties.

My bill would strengthen the current training and oversight requirements by, among other things:
  • Increasing initial and annual training hours for humane society police officers.
  • Mandating training the proper procedure to file citations and warrants, including when and how to contact other law enforcement.
  • Including training in farm operations and biosecurity, including at least one on-site visit to a working commercial farm operation.
  • Requiring that a humane society police officer remain a resident of the Commonwealth to retain his or her appointment as an officer.
  • Subjecting an officer to automatic revocation of his or her appointment in all counties if any one county revokes the appointment.
  • Treating associations that employ humane society police officers as local agencies under the Right-to-Know Law.

No one can countenance true cruelty to animals, but we must also be mindful to educate our humane society police officers about farms and rural communities so that they can focus their enforcement efforts against those who truly commit cruel acts.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Julianne Naccarato in my Capitol office via jnaccara@pahousegop.com or 717.783.1815.

Introduced as HB1917