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Pennsylvania’s Animal Cruelty Laws

That Fish Place – That Pet Place is committed to the proper, safe ownership of all animals and we wanted to help our blog readers get a better understanding of what animal cruelty laws are, so we can prevent these abusive acts.

There are many acts that are legally considered cruel that you might not have previously considered. We wanted to highlight a few of these little known abuses and will post the full list of cruelty laws below.

(b) Regulating certain actions concerning fowl or rabbits.–A person commits a summary offense if he sells, offers for sale, barters, or gives away baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl, under one month of age, or rabbits under two months of age, as pets, toys, premiums or novelties or if he colors, dyes, stains or otherwise changes the natural color of baby chickens, ducklings or other fowl, or rabbits or if he brings or transports the same into this Commonwealth. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale or display of such baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl, or such rabbits, in proper facilities by persons engaged in the business of selling them for purposes of commercial breeding and raising.

Coloring chickens or rabbits might seem like a fun harmless activity, especially during the holidays, but they are considered illegal and should be avoided.

(d) Selling or using disabled horse.–A person commits a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for medical or surgical treatment.

(f) Hours of labor of animals.–A person commits a summary offense if he leads, drives, rides or works or causes or permits any other person to lead, drive, ride or work any horse, mare, mule, ox, or any other animal, whether belonging to himself or in his possession or control, for more than 15 hours in any 24 hour period, or more than 90 hours in any one week.

Perhaps an overlooked section of the law is the use of animals for labor. Anyone who overworks and animal or uses an animal that is injured can face heavy fines.

(1) A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he is the owner or co-owner of a dog that kills, maims or disfigures a guide dog of an individual who is blind, a hearing dog of an individual who is deaf or audibly impaired or a service dog of an individual who is physically limited without provocation by the guide, hearing or service dog or the individual.

If a person, or their dog, causes harm or death to a guide dog, they can face heavy fines, up to and including health care costs for the guide dog or even replacement and training costs for a new guide dog.

Here in Pennsylvania, the SPCA strives to eliminate abuse towards animals. Their team investigates complaints that includes physical abuse, hoarding, animal fighting, neglect, neglect and failure to provide food, water, shelter and vet care.spca-300x82

They find educating the public can be effective at reducing complaints related to animal abuse. For public knowledge and the benefit of animals everywhere, they have posted Pennsylvania’s Animal Cruelty Laws.

But there are more serious cases that require intervention and their Humane Society Police Officers, led by Director of Human Law Enforcement George Bengal, are willing and able to enforce search warrants when deemed necessary.

If you observe abuse towards an animal, you can report it to the Pennsylvania SPCA by calling 866-601-SPCA and they will handle it quickly and effectively.

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