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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2019 02:22 PM
From: Representative Brandon J. Markosek
To: All House members
Subject: Animal Kidnapping
One moment they are here, and the next they are gone. In just a few seconds, precious family pets can be taken from your yard or car by ruthless individuals looking to make quick money. An estimated 2 million animals are stolen each year, of which only around 10 percent return home; pet theft even increased by 31 percent between 2007 and 2017. Our pets face many dangers once they are taken from us – resale to puppy mills, research laboratories, and even to animal fighters. Some of these thieves even masquerade as caring individuals looking to adopt dogs or cats on community sites, like Craigslist and Facebook, only to turn around and resell or use them for bait as if they mean nothing.

My legislation aims to crack down on these deceitful individuals by increasing the penalties for intentionally selling or taking any dog, cat, equine animal, swine, or cattle for the purpose of general resale, sale to a laboratory, or animal fighting to a felony of the third degree, with second offenses being a felony of the second degree. It also includes tougher penalties for knowingly taking or carrying away a dog, cat, or equine animal for a special or temporary purpose, with an offense being graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree. A second or subsequent offense would be a misdemeanor of the second degree.

For many Pennsylvanians, our animals are beloved members of the family. To think that there are individuals out there who would steal them and sell them without a care in the world is terrifying. As state legislators, we must look out for and protect all of our constituents, including those with four legs, wet noses, and so much love still to give. We can no longer be lenient – please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2207