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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 16, 2019 04:06 PM
From: Representative Peter Schweyer and Rep. Jeanne McNeill, Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation: Animal Cruelty – Fines to Local Humane Societies
The news articles are horrifying – 55 ailing dogs removed from a property in Philadelphia, 98 animals rescued from a self-proclaimed “rescue” organization in Lebanon County, a senior Yorkie bludgeoned and broken, thrown out with the trash and barely clinging to life. These cases, investigated by dedicated humane society officers, take time, effort, and money, with cruelty survivors requiring medical care, food, and shelter. For organizations that are mainly funded by donations, every cruelty case takes its toll, exhausting finite resources.

This legislation aims to ease the stress on these organizations by providing support for our humane societies. It would establish the Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund within the state treasury, with the money to be used for animal cruelty investigations and associated costs. To build it up, individuals convicted of animal cruelty would be assessed an additional $5. The money within would then go towards financing trainings, equipment, legal support, and employment expenses for humane society police officers. It would also cover food, shelter, and veterinary costs for rescued animals that have been the unfortunate victims of cruelty.

While we have made great strides in increasing animal cruelty penalties, we are continuing to ignore the fact that finding justice for and rehabilitating these animals takes an immense amount of time and places a heavy financial burden on humane societies and their officers. As legislators, it is our duty to recognize this difficulty and offer support. Please join us in continuing to protect Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty victims with this much-needed assistance.

Introduced as HB2283