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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2019 12:35 PM
From: Representative Jeanne McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: Animal Cruelty – Restrictions on Ownership
For a number of Pennsylvanians, the comfort and support found in their loving animals is immeasurable. Many animals live in wonderful homes with their humans, safe, sound, and loved. However, there are numerous animals that never get to experience what having a caring home is like. Between August 27, 2017, and June 30, 2018, 4,063 cases of animal abuse were filed in Pennsylvania. Over 4,000 animals neglected, abused, and injured in less than ten months – a tragedy that continues to unfold due to lax laws that allow convicted animal abusers to find more victims as soon as they finish serving their sentence.

My legislation would aim to end this loophole and protect animals by requiring all convicted abusers to be banned from owning, possessing, controlling, or working with animals for at least two years. It would also require abusers to participate in violence prevention counseling and, in the case of failure to attend counseling or trying to have an animal, the ban would be increased, and counseling required again.

There is no reason any animal should have to go through unimaginable anguish and pain at the hands of someone who is supposed to take care of them. It is our duty as legislators to recognize that the time has come to go even further to protect and serve all of our constituents, human or not. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to ensure that convicted animal abusers are no longer able to go out and find more victims as soon as they finish their sentence.

Introduced as HB1968