Pennsylvania toughening animal cruelty, neglect laws

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will sign legislation strengthening laws against animal cruelty and neglect in Pennsylvania.

The state Senate unanimously passed the bill Tuesday, two months after it passed the House. It would establish grades of violations up to a felony for intentionally torturing an animal or for neglect or abuse that causes it severe injury or death.

State law currently makes animal abuse a felony in certain situations, such as animal fighting or repeated and severe abuse of cats or dogs.

Dog owners also would be subject to punishment for tethering in certain situations, such as if the animal has open sores or the owner has used a tow chain, choke collar or similar devices.

Sen. Rich Alloway calls it the most significant changes to Pennsylvania’s animal abuse laws in more than three decades.

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