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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 6, 2013 02:54 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Dog Law Amendment in Regard to Harming Livestock
In the wake of an incident in my district where a family’s two Bernese Mountain dogs were killed unnecessarily, I will soon introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Dog Law and clarify when it is legal to shoot a dog. My bill’s new standard would apply only in counties of the first, second and third classes where this specific problem between the agricultural and residential communities is already occurring and more likely to continue to occur.

The person who shot the two dogs in my district on February 12 reportedly believed he was in compliance with the Pennsylvania Dog Law in shooting the two dogs despite later stating to local law enforcement that the dogs were not pursuing his sheep when he killed them. In an effort to better clarify the matter, my bill will clarify that within counties of the first, second and third class, one may kill a dog pursuing any domestic animal “with the apparent intent to harm” it.

My hope in introducing this language is to help all parties involved more clearly make a distinction between dogs that are simply on their property and near their livestock versus dogs actually harming their livestock.

Introduced as SB645