Legislation Affecting Animals 2023/24

stay updateddDozens of co-sponsor memos for anti-cruelty bills are circulating and more are in the works!   You can help by letting your state legislators know that you would like them to sign onto and SUPPORT ALL anti-cruelty bills and OPPOSE the ones that will hurt animals. 

  • As the bills are introduced, we will publish a brief description and status. For more in-depth information about the bill, check the linked fact sheet or linked co-sponsorship memo.  A list of bills not yet introduced is at the bottom of this page so you can help ask your legislators to co-sponsor them.  It is important to contact your state legislators requesting their support of anti-cruelty legislation in Pennsylvania again and again, especially when bills are moving.  Please also share this link with them so they can bookmark it as a handy reference. Sign up to be alerted when action is neededhttp://bit.ly/signupHPA 

Animal Protection Caucus:

Pennsylvania has an Animal Protection Caucus formed in the 21/22 legislative session.  The Animal Protection Caucus is a bipartisan collaboration of Representatives and Senators determined to lead and support animal welfare legislation in Pennsylvania. Ask your legislators to join!

Senate Bills to support:

House Bills to support:

HB 222Animal Abuse – Ear Cropping – increasing the penalty for illegal ear-cropping.   Introduced by MaryLouise Isaacson. Co-sponsorship Memo.  

HB 449: Animal Kidnapping: tougher penalties for intentionally selling or taking any dog, cat, equine animal, swine, or cattle. Introduced by Rep. Brandon J. Markosek Co-sponsorship Memo

HB 508:  Banning the Declawing of Cats. This bill would ban declawing for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, as well as for reasons of convenience. Introduced by Representative Liz Hanbidge and Representative Steven R. Malagari.  Co-Sponsorship Memo.

HB 526:  Disclosure of Certain Information Regarding Dogs Offered for Sale at Pet Shops. Introduced by Representative Ed. Neilson.  Co-sponsorship Memo.

HB 530: Restrictions on Ownership –requiring convicted animal abusers to be prohibited from owning, possessing, controlling, or working with animals for at least two years. Introduced by Rep. Jeanne McNeill.  Co-sponsorship Memo.

House Bills to oppose:

HB 567: Legalizing ownership of Exotic Pocket Pets. Introduced by Representative Zimmerman. Co-Sponsorship MemoCDC Warning: Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Pet Hedgehogs.

Senate Bills to oppose:


Bills not yet introduced:

It is important to have a strong showing of support as these bills are introduced, and we can all help by asking our legislators to co-sponsor anti-cruelty bills.  Please ask your legislators to co-sponsor the following anti-cruelty bills!

Dog Law Modernization Legislation: • Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski is planning to introduce legislation that will increase the annual and life-time dog license fees.
Updates to the Dog Law:  Senator Vogel is planning to introduce companion legislation that will increase the annual and life-time dog license fee.
Protecting Companion Animal Owners: •Rep Tim Brennan and Rep. Perry S. Warren plan to introduce legislation that will provide a better quality of justice for pet owners when their companion animal is injured or killed. The bill establishes non-economic damages (emotional damage), as well as defines common companion pets. Additionally, the bill allows veterinarians and transport fees that exceed the replacement value of an animal.
Animal Abuse in Domestic Situations:  • Rep. Christina D. Sappey and Rep. Natalie Mihalek plan to introduce legislation that will amend the Protection from Abuse Act in order to give judges the ability to order the defendant to refrain from abusing the victim’s pets.
Dedicated Animal Cruelty Fines for Humane Officers: • Rep. Peter Schwever and Rep. Jeanne McNeill plan to introduce legislation that will establish an Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund within the state treasury.
Wildlife Animal Cruelty: • Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman plans to introduce legislation that will provide the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to deny a hunting license to a convicted wildlife abuser.
Banning Traveling Animal Acts in Pennsylvania: • Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman plans to introduce legislation that will prevent the transportation of elephants, big cats, bears, primates, kangaroos, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, zebras, tapirs, seals, sea lions and sharks for public performances. The bill provides exceptions for nonprofits, educators and wildlife rehabilitators for their educational demonstrations.
Exotic Wildlife Ownership:• Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman plans to introduce legislation that will prohibit the issuance
of licenses for the possession of exotic wildlife by the general public. Zoos, wildlife parks and wildlife sanctuaries are exempt from the legislation.
Animal Drawn Carriages: • Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman plans to introduce legislation that will prohibit the use of
animal-drawn carriages for business or monetary gain in cities with a population of100,000 or more.
The Animal Welfare Cooperation Act:  Rep MaryLouise Isaacson plans to introduce legislation that will permit the Attorney General to investigate and institute criminal proceedings for a felony offense regarding cruelty to animals if the Attorney General requests to prosecute the felony offense in a criminal court or juvenile delinquency court and the District Attorney agrees or fails to
respond. This would permit the assistance of the Attorney General in prosecuting large scale animal cruelty cases in counties which have little experience in doing so.
Victoria’s Law:• Rep. Jeanne McNeill plans to introduce legislation that would drive the Pennsylvania pet market towards more humane sources like shelters, rescues, and responsible breeders; stop the sale of puppy mill dogs, in pet stores; protect consumers from misleading sales tactics; and require advertisers to include license numbers on their advertisements so that consumers have access to information on both responsible and unscrupulous breeders and so that enforcement officers can easily identify unlicensed breeders.
Animal Cruelty Transporting Dogs (HB 2415)• Rep Jeanne McNeill plans to introduce legislation that will prohibit the transporting of dogs in an external section of a vehicle, such as a truck bed or the roof of a car. The bill provides an exception to allow dogs to be externally transported in a secured insulated cage or container designed to safely transport animals and protect them from the elements.
 Shelter Animal Adoption Tax Credit (Former HB 8734): 
• Rep. Steven R. Malagari plans to introduce legislation, which allows taxpayers to claim a tax credit of $100 per pet for up three animals adopted from a shelter during the tax year. Additionally, the bill would help cover certain costs associated with the adoption and care of an adopted pet.
Legislation providing for county humane officers: • Rep. Scott Conklin plans to introduce legislation that will allow counties to employ humane officers to remediate animal displacement situations.
Protecting our Pets: Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg plans to introduce legislation that will create acomprehensive legal framework for the sale, solicitation, and negotiation of pet insurance policies within our state, leaving no space for hidden fees or confusion of coverage.
Lost Dog Registry: Senator Michele Brooks plans to introduce legislation that will establish a 24-hour Lost Dog Hotline and online Lost Dog Registry within the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement in the State Department of Agriculture.
Combating Cruel Testing on Dogs and Cats: Senator Doug Mastriano plans to introduce a comprehensive bill that will defund painful dog and cat testing in Pennsylvania and shine a light on the scope of cruel and wasteful experimentation across our Commonwealth. Recent data shows that Pennsylvania laboratories, including state institutions of higher learning, house thousands of dogs and cats for this inhumane purpose. Pennsylvania can lead the nation in ending barbaric taxpayer-funded experimentation on our beloved dogs and cats.

You may be the decisive factor in the way your legislator votes, so please contact your state legislators to ask them to support these bills! Legislators often want to know what Humane PA’s position is on bills, so you can also send them this link to bookmark for an easy reference tool for them. 

The Path from Idea to Bill to Law in Pennsylvania!

For information on the outcome of bills affecting animals in previous sessions check our Archive section.

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