It's official; animals in Pennsylvania are getting some help from lawmakers.
Libre's Law goes into effect today. The legislation protects horses, forbids leashing animals outside in bad weather, and allows for abused animals to be removed from owners.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the legislation in June.
Here are some fast facts about Libre's Law, according to Humane PA's website:
What does Libre’s Law do?
Libre’s Law will bring Pennsylvania in line with the majority of the country by increasing penalties for certain crimes against animals.
Creates a new offense of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, which can be applied to egregious situations.
Establishes stiffer penalties for the most heinous of crimes committed against animals.
Provides more prosecutorial discretion based on the level of injury or death.
It does not apply to activities undertaken in normal agricultural operations.
It will not prevent a humane police officer from charging a summary offense for cruelty, if warranted.
Why do we need Libre’s Law?
The overwhelming majority of animal cruelty crimes in PA are charged as a summary offense.
A summary offense puts animal cruelty, no matter how wanton, in the same category with the most minor of crimes such as loitering and traffic violations like speeding.
Animal cruelty is not a minor issue and it rarely happens as an isolated incident.
Research shows animal cruelty is the most reliable predictor of future violence against humans, which is why the FBI tracks animal cruelty crimes, including neglect and torture.
Stronger penalties provide an opportunity for the criminal justice system to identify potentially dangerous individuals, intervene in their cycle of abuse, and reduce acts of violence committed against animals, children, and citizens of the Commonwealth.
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