President Trump signed a bill that hands out harsher penalizes to people convicted of animal cruelty.
People who violate the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) could face up to seven years in prison and fines.
In some cases, people will have to do the time and pay the money.
It is now a federal crime to abuse animals.
President Trump signed a bill outlawing abusive behavior like crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and other bodily injury of any animal including birds, reptiles, or amphibians.
Eric Duckett, the Humane Officer from the A.N.N.A. Shelter, says he’s seen a wide variety of animal cruelty cases in Erie County.
“They range from simple neglect to aggravated cruelty, which would be like severely starving your animal…,” said Eric Duckett, Humane Officer, A.N.N.A. Shelter.
Duckett says while this federal law may be new, Pennsylvania residents are no strangers to strict animal cruelty laws.
“It’s been something I’ve been used to my whole time doing this job in the last two and a half years,” said Duckett.
Shelley West has taken in 86 neglected animals since the beginning of the year. She says she hopes more people start adopting animals that have been abused.
“Seeing an animal grow from being that shy timid animal or that aggressive animal to being part of the family and sleeping in the bed with you, you can’t beat it,” said Shelley West, Erie resident.
Meanwhile, Eric Duckett says if you are unable to take care of your pet, the A.N.N.A. Shelter will always make room for needy or neglected animals.
This law was supported by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The bill was introduced in the house by two Florida State Representatives.