Current Legislation

Humane legislationThe bills listed below were introduced in the 2013-14 session.  The ones that did not pass will now die and will have to be reintroduced next session.

Please sign up for our e-newsletter to receive email alerts to keep you updated in the 2015/16 session when these and new bills will be introduced.   Check here to see how your legislator voted on the bills that affected animals: 2013-14 Humane PA Scorecard.

Support: 

Senate Bills to support:all

  • SB 510: Live Animals as Targets - Bans the launching or tethering of live animals for target practice, including ending heinous live pigeon shoots or live turkey “block” shoots, where live turkeys are tethered to bales of hay and shot at for contests. Introduced by Senator Pat Browne + 22 Co-sponsors. Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee. Action needed: Contact Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi to ask him to run SB 510 for a vote and  your state senator to ask them to support.
  • SB 82: Puppy Lemon Law - provides for dog purchaser protection. This bill gives people who purchase sick puppies more time to discover, treat and report their puppy’s condition to the seller to demand a refund or replacement and grants greater consumer protection to people whose families purchase sick or dying puppies so that sellers can be held responsible.  Introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf +15 co-sponsors. Status: Passed Full Senate unanimously as well as the House Agriculture Committee!
  • SB 320: Animal Abuse Registry. Persons convicted of an animal abuse crime will be required to register their names, aliases, addresses, place of employment, date of birth, social security number, a recent photograph and the offense for which they were convicted within ten days.  Introduced by Sen. Larry Farnese +12 co-sponsors. Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • SB 340: Banning the Sale of Shark Fins – shark finning is an illegal process during which  poachers catch sharks, remove their fins to sell, and then dump their bodies back into the ocean. Though the sharks are still  alive, they are unable to swim without their fins and, ultimately, they suffocate, starve to death or are killed by another animal. Introduced by Senators Alloway and Leach + 11 co-sponsors. Status: Passed Senate Judiciary Committee and first consideration.
  • SB 521: Exotic Animals – Eliminates the private ownership of exotic animals and restricts other types of ownership. Introduced by Sen. Richard Alloway II + 10 co-sponsors. Status: passed committee and 1st consideration.
  • SB 522: Anti-Tethering - addresses tethering a dog outside and unattended to any stationary object by use of a  restraint and fails to satisfy a certain number specified requirements detailed in the legislation, including tethering outside below 32 or above 90 degrees. In addition, this legislation provides for a misdemeanor of the third degree if an individual violates any offense of cruelty to animals in conjunction with the tethering of dogs. Introduced by Sen. Richard  Alloway II + 16 co-sponsors.  Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • SB 718: This bill will allow Dog Law fines and penalties collected to remain in the Dog Law Restricted Account, which will help the operations of the Office of Dog Law Enforcement in conducting its statutory obligations of inspecting kennels, etc. Introduced by Sen. Chuck McIlhinny and 13 co-sponsors. Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • SB 862: to allow therapy dogs on public transportation. Introduced by Senator Andy Dinniman and 15 co-sponsors. Status: Passed first consideration, referred to Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • SB 863: An Act addressing Pet Cruelty in domestic-violence situations.  If a person with a protection-from-abuse order against them commits animal cruelty against the pet of their spouse or partner, they would face a minimum monetary fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $15,000. Status: Passed Senate Judiciary Committee. Action needed – ask your state senator to support!
  • SB 628: An Act providing for liability for intentional or negligent killing of pet by another. This bill expands the civil action one may take against one who hurts or kills their dog or cat by a negligent or intentional act. Introduced by Senator Andy Dinniman + 5 co-sponsors. Action needed: Ask your State Senator to support.
  • SB 965: This bill increase penalties for abuse of dogs and cats. Introduced by Senator Boscola + 13 others.
  • SB 1107: If a kennel license has been revoked; this bill will stop a new kennel license from being issued to a person who is a member of the immediate family nor to any person who resides at the same address of the current license. Introduce by Senator Alloway + 6 co-sponsors.  Status:  Passed Senate unanimously. Action needed: Ask your State Senator to support.
  • SB 1154:  This bill will help district attorneys investigate and prosecute illegal gambling operations involving animal fighting with $250,000 for the Attorney General grant to local DAs to investigate, prosecute and enforce laws relating to illegal gambling that involves animal fighting. Introduced by State Sen. John Yudichak.  Action needed: Ask your State Senator to support.
  • SB 1176: This bill will prohibit landlords from forcing families from having to subject their pets to unnecessary, costly and cruel procedures such as declawing and devocalization. Introduced by Senator Mike Stack.
  • SB 1261: This bill will increasing the offense for torturing or killing a K-9 officer to a felony of the second degree, allowing for a prison term of up 10 years and a fine of $25,000. Introduced by Senator Matt Smith and 28 co-sponsors. Status: Passed Senate  unanimously – pending in the House Agriculture Committee.

House Bills to support:

  • HB 164: Possession of Animal Fighting Paraphernalia an act that will close down any illicit operations that make or sell animal fighting paraphernalia; from the razor-sharp knives used to make cockfights bloodier, to the conditioning equipment used to prepare dogs to fight. Introduced by Rep. Todd Stephens + 55 co-sponsors. Status: Passed PA House unanimously, passed Senate Judiciary Committee and second consideration in the Senate! Action needed: Ask your State Senator to send HB 164 to the Governor ASAP!
  • HB 41: Anti-Tethering - Prohibits tethering a dog outside between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.,in extreme weather; and limits the type of tether which may be used. Introduced by Rep. Mario Scavello + 31 co-sponsors. Status: Referred to House Judiciary Committee.
  • HB 760: Animal Cruelty Penalties “Angel’s Law increased penalties for violations of the animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania. Introduced by Rep. Dom Costa +34 co-sponsors.  Status: Referred to House Judiciary Committee.
  • HB 850 Tax Credit An Act amending the Tax Reform Code of 1971, providing for a tax credit for adoption of dog or cat.  Introduced by Representative Jesse White + 30 co-sponsors.
  • HB 913: Fine Collections related to Dog Law Enforcement: This bill will allow Dog Law fines and penalties collected to remain in with the  Office of Dog Law. Since 1987 most of the fine and penalty money obtained from violations of the Pennsylvania Dog Law has been diverted for non-animal-related purposes, rather than directed toward the agency’s critical work. Introduced by Representative Katharine Watson and Rep. Joseph Petrarca +21 co-sponsors. Status: Passed House unanimously. Contact your state senator to support.
  • HB 1517: Designates the shelter pet as the official pet of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Introduced by Representative Mike Schlossberg and 12 co-sponsors.
  • HB 1750Banning the slaughtering or selling of dogs and cats for human consumption in Pennsylvania.  Introduced by Rep. John Maher +44 co-sponsors. Status: Passed full house unanimously. Amended in Senate Judiciary with language to stop the use of dogs, cats or other live animals or fowl for targets at trap shoot or block shoots.  Passed 1st and second consideration in full senate. Action needed: Please contact your state senator to ask them to support.
  • HB 1759: Require pet shops in the Commonwealth to display certain information on the cages of dogs that are offered for sale. Introduced by Rep. Kevin Schreiber + 42 co-sponsors. Status: Passed House Agriculture Committee.  Action needed: please contact your state representative to ask them to support.
  • HB 2015: Amends PA Cruelty Code by replacing  “willfully and maliciously” with “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” when an individual is accused of engaging in cruelty to domestic animals. Introduced by Rep. Marty Flynn + 32 co-sponsors.
  • HB 2024: (Rocco’s Law) Amends the PA Cruelty Code when a person willfully or maliciously tortures, mutilates, injures, disables, poisons or kills a police animal while the animal is in the performance of their duty to a felony of the first degree. Introduced by Rep. Dom Costa + 35 co-sponsors.
  • HB 2026:  (Rocco’s Law) Amends PA Cruelty Code to elevate the penalty for killing or torturing a police dog to a felony of the second degree, which carries with it a maximum $25,000 fine and maximum of 10 years in jail. Introduced by Rep. John Maher + 51 co-sponsors. Status: Passed House unanimously, passed Senate Judiciary and 2nd consideration of full senate.
  • HB 2027:  Amends the PA Cruelty Code to increase the penalty for someone who causes the death of a police animal killed in the line of duty to a felony of the first degree.. Introduced by Rep. Jesse White + 27 co-sponsors.
  • HR 1017: A resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to assist in the study of whether or not the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies should receive training on the use of nonlethal force against dogs… Introduced by Rep. Kevin Schreiber and 15 co-sponsors.

Oppose: 

  • HB1534 - this bill provides for a coyote bounty  program for the killing of coyotes. Introduced by Rep. Mike Pfeifer + 20 co-sponsors. Status: Passed the house 111-78, assigned to Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.
  • HB 1576 “Endangered Species Coordination Act” This bill creates an unnecessary layer of bureaucratic red tape that ties the hands of agencies long trusted to protect endangerendangered and threatened species from extinction. It also puts the agency at serious risk of losing federal funding—a critical portion of its budget and funds that are used to manage Pennsylvania’s wildlife. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Pyle + 66 co-sponsors.  Status: refered to House Game and Fish Committee – hearings are being held.  Contact your state representative to ask them to oppose.
  • HB 353Oppose: Reduced Safety Zone for Waterways Trapping -amends the PA Game Code to reduce the safety zone distance for trapping within any waterway, marsh, pond or dam.  It creates a larger zone of danger within minutes of family homes to allow trappers an increase in territory to use submerged traps. Introduced by Rep. Dave Reed + 9 co-sponsors.  Status:  passed PA House and is pending in Senate Judiciary.
  • HB 683: Oppose Ag-Gag -  This dangerous bill would cripple the ability of investigators to expose animal abuse and/or food safety concerns. Ag-Gag bills criminalize taking photos or videos on farms to expose problems, such as animal cruelty, environmental and labor violations, and other illegal or unethical behavior. Introduced by Rep. Gary Haluska + 9 co-sponsors. Status: Referred to Judiciary Committee.

Bills signed into Law:

  • HB 82: Cost of Care of Seized Animals. Good bill. Introduced by Rep. Brian Ellis +26 co-sponsors.  Vote counts: Passed House 163-34, amended and passed senate  47-3, back to the House for concurrence and final passage: 158-45.  It is now Act 50.
  • HR 655: Good resolution. Introduced by Rep. Dom Costa. A Resolution honoring the life and service of Rocco, a Pittsburgh Canine Officer who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty, and offering condolences to those whose lives were impacted by Rocco.
  • SR 197: Good resolution. Introduced by Sen. Solobay and 17 co-sponsors. A Resolution designating the week of September 23 through 29, 2013, as “Animal Disaster Preparedness Week” in Pennsylvania.
  • SR 237: Good resolution. Recognizing October 20 through 26, 2013, as “Adopt a Shelter Pet Week” in Pennsylvania.
  • SB 644: Bad Bill Allowing PA to continue to import non-native wild boars for canned hunts. After stiff opposition to the original bill, SB 644 was amended to make it a less bad bill, but it still is an ill-conceived step backward for animals and the environment in Pennsylvania.  On April 9th, the House version (HB 723)passed 101-100, and SB 644 was amended and unfortunately has been signed into law. Read more details on our fact sheet.

You may be the decisive factor in the way your  legislator votes, so please contact your state legislators to ask them to  support or oppose  these bills!

39 Responses to Current Legislation

  1. Pingback: Welcome… | HUMANE USA PA PAC

  2. Marilyn Clutter says:

    Great bills…hope they ALL pass.

  3. John says:

    Please don’t use this Law to exterminate animals supposedlly for their own good as PETA has a habit of doing. Make this Law protect them remember all Gods creatures want to live, very few of them wish they were dead!

  4. Sandy says:

    Let’s work to get the law changed so that when animals are removed from a cruelty/neglect situation by humane law enforcement officers the owners can either (1) surrender the animal so that it can be medically and/or behaviorally rehabilitated and placed for adoption or (2) the owner is required to post a bond to cover the costs for the animal’s care while waiting for the case to be docketed. Under the current system, many animals languish in the shelter for years before the owner goes to court. I recently fostered a court case dog for close to two years only for the judge to return the dog to its abusive owner.

  5. We need to educate children in schools about caring for animals. Cruelty is passed down from generation to generation. I also would like to see something done about breeding. It is out of control!!! We need to stop the overpopulation! This is why there are no nany unwwanted animals. Abandonment of animals should be a crime! Our goal should be for a world where only wanted animals exist!!!

  6. charlie underwood says:

    I am especially concerned with the anti-tethering bill. No dog should be tethered to a doghouse or a tree or any other object 24/7 in this brutal winter weather. Please pass this bill.

  7. Kim says:

    There should be an animal cruelty offender’s list just like the sex offender’s list so that someone who abuses animals can never own one again!

  8. Sally Adler says:

    can we add something about cats to this. There is no excuse for urban cats to run free. There is no excuse for frightened, unspayed cats having kittens behind city dumpsters.

  9. Nancy L. Schneider says:

    The barbaric practice of using live animals as targets MUST be stopped. I cannot comprehend that live pigeon shoots can still occur in a civilized society. In my opinion all decent caring legislators must support legislation to end this horror.

  10. Karyn D. Huggins says:

    I totally agree with you on this, Kim. There is a site (http://www.pet-abuse.com/database/) but I don’t know that it is used by shelters/rescues and it needs a lot of tweeking to ensure the offenders are brought to the forefront so people know.

  11. Pingback: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to get Political for Animals! | Humane PA

  12. Diana Crawford says:

    changes are needed!

  13. Diana Crawford says:

    changes are needed!

  14. Is there a plan to introduce a bill that REQUIRES shelters to allow breed specific rescue organizations in to “pull” dogs (& cats?). Right now our shelter refuses to work w/ these organizations and ends up euthanizing more animals than they need to.

  15. Please protect our animals. I am in favor of all of these proposals.

  16. Bev says:

    court cases need to be heard much quicker, not only for the current bills but for other’s as well. there should also be a limit on how many times a case can b appealed, it’s just a stall tactic.

  17. Linda Focht says:

    Thank you so much for passing HB 82! Now please be smart and quickly pass the other bills to protect the rights of animals and also to introduce the other bills waiting and pass them, too. Remember, animals have feelings, too. How would you like to be tethered outside 24/7 in sub-zero weather. Be smart and act now!!!

  18. dumbell@centurylink.net says:

    we need change!!! I am a humane officer and have to deal with animals being returned by judges due to ATTORNEYS finding loop wholes. The attorneys have no conscience and look past the fact that thier clients have made an animal suffer and frankly they do not care, for them it is about the almighty $$$$ and not the animal. Better judges, better attorneys, better laws, PA. need to do ALOT better and focus on the real issue-abuse and neglect!

  19. Debbie says:

    I would LOVE to see them ALL pass!!!

  20. Krista says:

    My main concern (and I know there are many) is the evil, money hungry people who operate puppy mills! Talk about abuse! If we are considered the “greatest country on earth”, then why…how are puppy mills allowed to exist? Why do we have to “fight” for what is right? Our government, for the most part doesn’t seem to care. There are only a handful that do :(
    Breaks my heart. No animal, anywhere should ever suffer by the hands of humans. It’s just so wrong! Animals are God’s creatures, not an easy way to make money! I will help in any way I can to get these bills and others passed! (sorry, didn’t mean to rant, but dogs have a very special place in my heart and I would love nothing more than to see ALL puppy mill owners fined and jailed! And all those sweet doggies have a loving home.)

  21. Pingback: Ring, Ring…Your Legislator Is Calling! | Humane PA

  22. Come on PA, let’s get civilized!! God will hold you accountable for every one of HIS animals!

  23. P says:

    I agree.

  24. Judy Maleski says:

    Why would anyone want HB 683? If you are not complying with the law you should take pictures of the abuse. I realize you can’t “trespass” but if the abuse is in plain site it should be documented (Photo’s etc.)

  25. There should be a list of people who are cruel to animals.

  26. Linda says:

    There are groups who take care of feral and strays. There is a known organization called Alley Cat Allies who helps small groups tend to feral colonies and also relocate them if they are causing a problem. People are the cause of all the strays. They get kittens, then do not spay or neuter and then when they are no longer “cute” or they have to move, they just put the cat outside so it will reproduce over and over. My neighbor just told me that his sister just dumped her male cat on some farm road because she couldn’t afford to neuter him!! This is the mentality of many people. Cats should not be let out in city areas where they can get run over by cars, let alone cause problems. I suggest you contact a local rescue because many do have contacts or workers who deal with strays and may be able to help you. Passing a law is just going to get them trapped and killed which is not right. They have the right to live. They just need to be relocated and people need to stop letting cats outside or tossing out their pets to the streets.

  27. Judy Maleski says:

    Judy Maleski

    The courts consider pets as “chattel” They are living things. Abusers never get cured and if they are caught they get a slap on the wrist. Some courts fine the abuser but you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

    It’s time we all try to change these things! Every site I go to except two local one’s here just want money. If I had it I would give.

    One so called Shelter here will take in a stray if you find one but you have to make an appointment and pay $60. Of course they are a corporation and tax exempt but the CEO and others there get outrageous salaries. I called to see if I could donate my time by cleaning cages etc. They said no we need money, food, and blankets. I just don’t know what to do :(

  28. Betty Emery says:

    It should be legal for ALL PEOPLE to document the cruelty of animals at the hands of all humans. That includes farm animals and circus animals! There are bills in the state house in PA that will make it ILLEGAL for concerned citizens to use any type of equipment to “film” of camcord or take pictures of farm animals being abused!! WTH!! A lot has been found with the filming of the treatment of cows and hogs and piglets at the hands of the sadistic slaughterhouse employees. Personally, they should have background checks and YES label what it is ABUSE!! Right now there are bills that will not allow any employee to document in any way abuse of farm animals or slaughter house animals. Standing on a cows nostrils until she stops breathing? is this acceptable for a cow going to slaughter? NO HELL NO!! Tossing piglets into the air and letting them all to the ground over and over until they are dead! HELL NO!! Skinning live calves!! These people need to be stopped and those bills in the PA state houses need to be stopped. Only law enforcement will be able to film. How stupid do the creators of these bills think the citizens of PA are? Being able to document all abusive situations is our right to know. If an animal going to slaughter is too sick to stand up and walk, why would we want to eat it or feed it to our school children. Well that has happened. Call and email your representatives to stop these bills NOW!!

  29. There should be a law passed for every animal that are abused from anyone I am totally against animal abuse I have animals my self they are my children

  30. Nancy J Kurtz says:

    All creatures large and small, the Lord/God made them all.

  31. They love us so unconditionally, they would lay down their lives and die for us, no matter what we give or do for them. The very least we can do, is make sure they live a good life. Every pet deserves a loving home. Spay and neuter, stop backyard breeding and no puppy mills. Make abusers pay for their crimes, not a slap on the wrist. Crack down on dog fighting more, that’s what turns good dogs, into ones that scare people. I could go on and on, but it’s the people that can make a difference.

  32. Jennifer Gero says:

    How do you sign up for all of them? I will leave my signature for every one!

  33. Anonymous says:

    i am active in the trap neuter release program with cats in our neighborhood. i’ve had two dogs in the past… animals are a wonderful blessing given to us to care for and love. abusers must pay for their crimes and not a slap on the wrist. anyone who harms animals is not a person or a child of
    God. thanks to all who make a difference for strays and animals in our society.

  34. Anonymous says:

    We must stop dog breeding ….the money spent by government to put dogs down in shelters due to over population is just plain crazy!!! If we can pass a law to stop dog breeding for at least 1-2 years until all the shelters around this country are no longer over full capacity, just might be a good start to controlling this never-ending problem while saving money! You have to start somewhere!!!

  35. Valerie McAnddrew says:

    Animals need our voices. Let’s all help them by agreeing to pass this along.

  36. Humane PA says:

    Thanks Valerie! It is so important for people who care about animals to get politically involved and make sure their legislators understand that these bill are important to their constituents.

  37. Judy Faller says:

    Stop messing around and save these Animals .. You can do this .. Stop the selling and trading and fighting of all Animals…!!!!!!! HELP make the world a little nicer place !!!!!! Thank You a PA Voter !!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Roderick says:

    It was hard to find your blog in google
    search results. I found it on 16 position, you should
    build some quality backlinks , it will help you to
    increase traffic. I know how to help you, just search in google – k2 seo tips

  39. Louann says:

    I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of
    time, there is an online tool that creates unique,
    google friendly articles in seconds, just type in google – laranitas free content source

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s