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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2021 04:29 PM
From: Senator John I. Kane and Sen. Katie J. Muth
To: All Senate members
Subject: Animal Cruelty – Fines to Local Humane Societies
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to create the Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund to lessen the burden on animal protection organizations by providing support for investigations into animal cruelty. This legislation is a companion bill to that of Representative Pete Schweyer. 

We have all seen newspaper and TV news headlines about some of the horrific living and breeding conditions for animals living in Pennsylvania. 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. 
The bill aims to ease the stress on animal protection 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 training, 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. 

This legislation has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Animal Protection Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of legislators from both chambers working on legislation to protect the domestic, equine and farm animals in our Commonwealth. 
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 address this difficulty and offer solutions. Please join us in continuing to protect victims of animal cruelty with this much-needed assistance. 

Introduced as SB560