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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 25, 2021 11:33 AM
From: Representative Peter Schweyer
To: All House members
Subject: Dedicated Animal Cruelty Fines for Humane Officers
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 to resolve, with survivors requiring medical care, food, and shelter.  For organizations that are mainly funded by donations, every cruelty case takes its toll, exhausting finite resources.
Our legislation aims to ease this burden by providing support for our humane societies through the establishment of the Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund within the state treasury.  Money in the fund would be used for animal cruelty investigations and associated costs, with individuals convicted of animal cruelty being assessed an additional $5.  The fund would then be put towards financing trainings, equipment, legal support, and employment expenses for humane society police officers, in addition to also covering food, shelter, and veterinary costs for rescued animals that have been victims of cruelty.
While we have made great strides in increasing animal cruelty penalties, we continue to ignore the fact that finding justice for and rehabilitating these animals takes an immense amount of time and places heavy financial stress on humane societies and their officers.  As legislators, it is our duty to recognize this difficulty and offer our support.  Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to protect and support Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty victims and those who dedicate their lives to saving them.