Animal associations

Pennsylvania Advances in State Rankings for Animal Welfare Laws | New

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – In 2014, Pennsylvania ranked 41st in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s ranking of US animal welfare laws. In 2022, the Commonwealth moved up to 15th place in the latest report.

The improved ranking is based on new laws passed in recent years, including:

  • Make it a crime if someone knowingly has animal fighting paraphernalia
  • Give law enforcement officers the ability to intervene when animals are left in unattended vehicles
  • Limit the continuous chaining of dogs outside; it is illegal to leave a dog tethered for more than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees (F)
  • Require sanitary shelters for animals to maintain normal body temperature and keep them dry throughout the year
  • Require abused animals to be confiscated from a shelter upon felony conviction
  • Grant civil immunity to veterinarians, vet techs, and humane society police officers to avoid frivolous lawsuits when reporting animal cruelty in good faith
  • Additional protections for all animals based on existing penalties for crimes against cats and dogs
  • Increased penalties for egregious acts of cruelty

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