Gov. Wolf to sign overhaul of animal cruelty, neglect laws

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf will sign legislation Wednesday that strengthens Pennsylvania laws against animal cruelty and neglect.

House Bill 1238 adds a new offense of aggravated animal cruelty for people who cause the death or serious bodily injury of an animal. Violators could be charged with a third-degree felony.

Dog owners are banned from tethering their pets without access to food, water and shelter, or during periods of intense hot, cold or dangerous weather.

The new law also makes it easier to prosecute a person who knowingly mistreats, abuses or neglects an animal, and it requires convicted abusers to forfeit their animals to a shelter.

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