When an adorable Boston terrier was found emaciated, diseased and abandoned, the Pennsylvania government knew that had to do something about it. Because the dog was treated horribly at an animal breeding center, he was just one animal of many that receives the brutal treatment from breeders across the state of Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf knew that something needed to change. Animals were being mistreated across his state when other states across the nation were protecting these same critters. That’s when Gov. Wolf decided to sign a bill that will forever change the way breeders treat the animals they raise.
In an effort to stymie the proliferation of animal cruelty and neglect across the state of Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf stood before a crowd on the state Capitol lawn on Wednesday with a pen in his hand. He had the new bill in front of him and signed it.
But then he did something that put a personal touch on the effort to stop animal abuse.
He helped dip the paw of the mistreated Boston terrier Libre into ink and stamp it onto House Bill 1238 which is also known as Libre’s Law. Now the new anti-animal cruelty law has an abuse survivor’s stamp of approval on it.
Libre was the mistreated and abused puppy found just last year in Lancaster County. When he first came to a veterinarian office, there was little hope he’d survive. But he pushed through the challenges and made it.
The new bill has the approval of the Humane Society of the United States state director Kirsten Tullo. She calls the legislation the most comprehensive animal protection package Pennsylvania has ever passed in state history.
Libre’s Law is an animal abuse overhaul that shows perpetrators that Pennsylvania means business. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony animal cruelty charge under the new law must give up their animal.
Although the bill is signed and ready, the law goes into effect in two months. In short, the new legislation establishes felony charges for various crimes. Namely, the intentional torturing of an animal or for neglect or abuse that causes injury or death. Dog owners can be punished for tethering in certain situations – especially when these lead to neglectful or horrible conditions. Namely, dogs cannot be tethered outside for more than 30 minutes if the temperatures are above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees. This simple change can prevent a lot of animal deaths.
The law also includes Cordeilia’s Law, which adds tougher protection for horses.
Animal abuse is currently a felony only in limited situations. This new bill, which is approved by abuse survivor Libre, will pass down stricter punishments for people who treat animals poorly.
In the video below, you’ll see the government officials who came together for this bipartisan bill.
Watch as the governor dips the cute Boston terrier’s paw into the ink to sign the bill.
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