Humane Society NWPA hosts animal cruelty forum

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ERIE, Pa. – Animal cruelty is at an all-time high in Erie County with some of the most brutal cases happening over summer.

The Humane Society of Northwest Pennsylvania is working to combat the growing abuse.

Pennsylvania has some of the most lenient animal cruelty laws in the country and as animal abuse continues to rise, legislators and the humane society are working to shed some light on the issue.

One of the latest cases involved 11 dog corpses found rotting in a home on Cherry Street in June.

But things have gone downhill from there.

“It has gotten a lot bigger of a problem,” investigating officer Lisa Stiles said. “More cases are coming in and I don’t know if that’s because the public is becoming more aware and reporting what they are seeing or worst-case scenario: there is more abuse and neglect out there.”

And there is no teeth in Pennsylvania law for abusers, many walkaway with a slap on the wrist.

“These are things that are happening right here in our community, so what the humane society wants to do is we want to be a voice for voiceless and we want to encourage our community to do the same,” Executive Director of the Humane Society Nicole Bawol said.

Local representative has introduced some legislation to make the laws stricter

Rep. Ryan Bizzaro proposed a bill that has passed the House and is awaiting a final vote by the Senate and is expected to make it to the governor’s desk by the end of the month.

“This will actually take the abused animals out of the hands of the abusers put them into a shelter to take care of them and the abuser will not be able to have the animal back,” Rep Ryan Bizzarro said. “Right now in Pennsylvania, legally, they are allowed to take the animal back. This law will prohibit that.”

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