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Stop Animal Cruelty

Pennsylvania Cruelty Laws

The following are not recommendations, THEY ARE PENNSYLVANIA LAW!

5532. Neglect of animal
  (a)Offense defined - A person commits an offense if the person fails to provide any of the following for each animal to which the person has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise:
  (1)Necessary sustenance and potable water
  (2)Access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather. The shelter must be sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.
  (3)Necessary veterinary care.
  (b)Grading
  (1)Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a violation of this section is a summary offense.
  (2)If the violation causes bodily injury to the animal or places the animal at imminent risk of serious bodily injury, a violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
5533. Cruelty to animal
  (a)Offense defined - A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly ill-treats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses an animal.
  (b)Grading
  (1)Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a violation of this section is a summary offense.
  (2)If the violation causes bodily injury to the animal or places the animal at imminent risk of serious bodily injury, a violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
5534. Aggravated cruelty to animal
  (a)Offense defined - A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly does any of the following:
  (1)Tortures an animal.
  (2)Violates section 5532 (relating to neglect of animal) or 5533 (relating to cruelty to animal) causing serious bodily injury to the animal or the death of the animal.
  (b)Grading - A violation of this section is a felony of the third degree.
5536. Tethering of unattended dog
  (a)Presumptions
  (1)Tethering an unattended dog out of doors for less than 9 hours within a 24 hour period when all of the following conditions are present shall create a rebuttable presumption that a dog has not been the subject of neglect within the meaning of section 5532 (relating to neglect of animal):
  (i)The tether is of a type commonly used for the size and breed of dog and is at least three times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail or 10 feet, whichever is longer.
  (ii)The tether is secured to a well-fitted collar or harness by means of a swivel anchor, swivel latch or other mechanism designed to prevent the dog from becoming entangled.
  (iii)The tethered dog has access to potable water and an area of shade that permits the dog to escape the direct rays of the sun.
  (iv)The dog has not been tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  (2)The presence of any of the following conditions regarding tethering an unattended dog out of doors shall create a rebuttable presumption that a dog has been the subject of neglect within the meaning of section 5532:
  (i)Excessive waste or excrement in the area where the dog is tethered.
  (ii)Open sores or wounds on the dog's body.
  (iii)The use of a tow or log chain, or a choke, pinch, prong or chain collar.
  (b)Construction - This section shall not be construed to prohibit any of the following:
  (1)Tethering a dog while actively engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, performance events or field training.
  (2)Tethering a hunting, sporting or sledding dog breed where tethering is integral to the training, conditioning or purpose of the dog.
  (3)Tethering a dog in compliance with the requirements of a camping or recreational area.
  (4)Tethering a dog for a period of time, not to exceed one hour, reasonably necessary for the dog or person to complete a temporary task.
Animal Fighting is illegal & a FELONY!
If you suspect animal fighting, contact our office immediately!
5543. Animal fighting
  A person commits a felony of the third degree if the person:
  (1)for amusement or gain, causes, allows or permits an animal to engage in animal fighting
  (2)receives compensation for the admission of another person to a place kept or used for animal fighting
  (3)owns, possesses, keeps, trains, promotes, purchases, steals or acquires in any manner or knowingly sells an animal for animal fighting
  (4)in any way knowingly encourages, aids or assists therein
  (5)wagers on the outcome of an animal fight
  (6)pays for admission to an animal fight or attends an animal fight as a spectator
  (7)knowingly permits a place under the person's control or possession to be kept or used for animal fighting
5544. Possession of animal fighting paraphernalia
  In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if the person knowingly owns or possesses animal fighting paraphernalia
5550. Fine and term of imprisonment for summary offense
  Unless otherwise specifically provided, a person convicted of a summary offense under this subchapter shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $750 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.
5551. Power to initiate criminal proceedings
  An agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall have the same powers to initiate criminal proceedings provided for police officers by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. An agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall have standing to request a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin a violation of this subchapter.
5556. Civil immunity for licensed doctors of veterinary medicine, technicians and assistants
  (a)General rule - A licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, certified veterinary technician or veterinary assistant who reports, in good faith and in the normal course of business, a suspected violation of this subchapter to the proper authority shall not be liable for civil damages as a result of reporting the incident.
  (b)Nonapplicability - Subsection (a) shall not apply to an act or omission intentionally designed to harm or to an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful, wanton or reckless conduct.
5557. Civil immunity for humane society police officers
  (a)General rule - A humane society police officer acting in good faith and within the scope of the authority provided under this sub-chapter shall not be liable for civil damages as a result of an act or omission in the course of an investigation or enforcement action.
  (b)Nonapplicability - Subsection (a) shall not apply to an act or omission intentionally designed to harm or to an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful, wanton or reckless conduct.


Additional Information:

Surrendering your pet to Paws Along The River Humane Society
lf you feel you are unable or no longer want to care for your pet(s) you are able to relinquish them to the Humane Society. A small fee may be required to cover costs, depending on each circumstance. You must notify the Humane Officer of your intention at 814-726-1961, bring a photo ID with you and arrive during normal business hours. Proof of ownership is a must.
  Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri 12:30 - 4:30 pm, Sat 12 - 3 pm and closed Wed, Sun and Holidays.
(Please refrain from re-homing your pet to just anyone; thoroughly check the situation where your pet will permanently live.)
The dangers of chaining or confining your dog:
  Dogs are naturally social beings who need interaction with humans and/or other animals. Consistent or long-term confinement can severely damage their physical & psychological well-being. A dog, when kept continuously chained or confined in any way, may become neurotic, unhappy, anxious, & often aggressive.
  Tethered dogs may also suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, & extreme temperatures. Owners who chain their dogs are less likely to clean the area of confinement, causing the dogs to eat & sleep in an area contaminated with urine & feces. What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" & can be easily ignored by their owners.
  It is common for continuously tethered dogs to endure physical ailments as a result of being continuously tethered. Their necks can become raw & sore, & their collars can painfully grow into their skin (embedded collar). They are vulnerable to insect bites & parasites, & are at high risk of entanglement, strangulation, & harassment or attacks by other dogs or people.
The dangers of allowing your cat to roam loose outside:
  *Transfer of diseases & illnesses: Feline Leukemia (FeLV), Feline AIDS (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Upper Respiratory Infections (URI), Rabies.
  *Acquiring internal & external parasites (worms, fleas, ticks, mange).
  *Injuries or death from being hit by vehicles, attacks from or fighting with other animals, caught in traps, poisonings, mistreatment from inhumane people.
The Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Your Pet
  For the health of your pet: Spaying & neutering can improve your pet's quality of life & increase their lifespan
  *Spaying females not only eliminates their heat cycle, but eliminates the chance of uterine infection, ovarian or uterine cancers & greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer.
  *Neutering males eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer & greatly reduces the risk of tumors of the penis & anal areas, as well as reducing the risk of perineal hernia.
  *Prostate enlargement occurs in at least 60% of all un-neutered male animals which can lead to prostate tumors & infections.
  *Intact male & female dogs & cats will have more of an urge to roam which greatly increases their chances of being hit by a car, poisoned, abused, or stolen.
  What's in it for you: Spaying & neutering not only help control unwanted animals from overpopulating animal shelters, it can also be of benefit to you, your home, & your family.
  *Neutered male dogs & cats are less likely to mark their territory & your furniture with urine
  *Unfulfilled sexual energy can cause frustration which can lead to intact animals to exhibit destructive behavior.
  *Intact female dogs & cats will menstruate for 10 days, twice a year which means blood on your carpet, furniture, & clothing.
  Animal shelter overflow: When you choose not to spay & neuter your pet, YOU are directly contributing to the overflow of stray & unwanted animals in shelters. Even if you find homes for your puppies or kittens, that is one less home that is available to a homeless pet in an animal shelter. There are more animals born each day than there are good homes for them. The responsibility falls on every pet owner to do their part to help with this problem by spaying or neutering their pets.
Summer Care for the Outdoor Animal:
  *For dogs and cats: MUST ALWAYS have shelter from the rain, snow, & winds & shade from the hot summer sun (dog house must be placed in the shade-not in direct sunlight).
  *For livestock: Proper shelter for livestock would be access to an open barn, a three sided lean to with a roof, or a run in off the side of a barn. The shelter should face east, away from the incoming weather, A tree line is not adequate shelter by Pennsylvania law! There are no specifications in the PA Animal Cruelty Laws in regards to size of pasture or shelter--the shelter must accommodate the number of animals you have.
  *All animals MUST ALWAYS have access to water at all times--no excuses! Secure water container so it cannot tip or be knocked over (use a bungee cord to secure to a fence/post/tree, surround water container with cinderblocks or place water container inside a tire, dig a hole in the ground & place water container inside).
  *Animal's living area must be kept clean and sanitary at all times (clean of feces, urine, trash, debris, mud & standing water).
  *Animals must be kept free of fleas & internal parasites (worms). Deworm your pet regularly & treat your pet with a proper monthly flea preventative from your veterinarian.
  *If your animal is kept on a chain, the chain must be at least 3 times the length of the animal's body at all times & cannot tangle on anything nor kink up, thus shortening the chain. Swivels on either end of the chain will ensure it will not kink. Tie the animal out on a level area so animal cannot fall off & hang itself. If more than one animal chained in an area, make sure they cannot reach each other to get wrapped around each other & strangle to death.
Winter Care for the Outdoor Animal:
  *For dogs & cats: A proper & adequate dog house that is airtight & up off the ground several inches must be provided. The dog house must have a solid roof & floor & four solid sides. The opening should be just wide enough for the animal to gain entry. The dog house MUST have hay, straw, or cedar chips as bedding & a flap (rubber mud flap, tarp, shower liner, etc.) must be affixed to the dog house door to keep the heat inside the dog house. Soft beddings (blankets, pillows, or dog beds) should not be used as they can become wet & freeze & could become entangled in the chain. The dog house should face east, away from the incoming weather.
  *Check their water several times daily, in case of freezing, or purchase a heated water bowl (at any feed mill or tractor supply store).
  *An animal outside in the winter should be provided with a heavier diet to withstand the colder weather - your animal's food should be doubled!
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