HARRISBURG — Governor Tom Wolf invites the public to watch him sign a new bill designed to overhaul the state’s animal protection statutes and increase penalties for abusing animals into law — and meet some special canine advocates.
The ceremony will be held Wednesday on the lawn of the Capitol Building, starting with a canine advocate “meet and greet” at 12:30 p.m., with the official bill signing scheduled to follow at 1.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, and animal-lovers everywhere, to celebrate as we officially overhaul the outdated animal abuse laws in the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “This landmark legislation made it to my desk in large part to the dedication and hard work of the public and I truly hope to see every supporter out for the rally.”
Some of the canine guests expected to be mingling with admirers at the signing of HB 1238 are:
- Libre, the rescued dog and canine lobbyist who inspired Libre’s Law
- Aladdin, a rescued dog who now serves as a certified therapy and crisis response dog and is a nationally known ambassador for anti-animal cruelty efforts
- Cranberry, an abused dog left for dead, now an ambassador for the abused and neglected
- Summit, a dog that lost a leg due to cruelty and ambassador for anti-animal cruelty efforts
- Bulmers, Representative Frank Farry’s civic-minded pup, the “PA Capitol Dog”
The overhaul bill includes:
- Mandatory Forfeiture, requires that after an animal abuser is convicted, the victims of that abuse will be forfeited to an animal shelter
- Libre’s Law, increased penalties for heinous animal abuse
- Cordelia’s Law, added protections for horses
- Tethering stipulations
- Civil immunity provided for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and humane society police officers to prevent frivolous lawsuits against these professionals when reporting animal cruelty in good faith