Animal Cruelty

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Animal abusers in Pennsylvania could face fines of at least $500 and felony charges under a new law that went into effect this week.

Libre's Law increases penalties even for first-time offenders. It's named for the once-abused Boston Terrier-turned representative for animal rights, who co-signed the bill with his paw print alongside Governor Wolf back in June

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Some lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf took a break from budget negotiations Wednesday to sign a high-profile package of bills into law.

They significantly overhauled the commonwealth’s animal rights legislation, and included a measure that has brought a lot of attention to the issue in the past year: Libre’s Law.

The bill signing saw more fanfare—and barking—than most.

Humane Pennsylvania

The Humane Society says a cat was tied up, doused in gasoline and placed into a plastic trash bag that was nearly crushed in a Pennsylvania garbage truck.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

State police are trying to determine who intentionally killed an elk on an eastern Pennsylvania nature and wild game preserve.

Troopers from Bethlehem say the animal was found slain about 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Trexler Nature Preserve.

The 1,100-acre facility is owned by Lehigh County and is next to the Lehigh Valley Zoo, about 10 miles west of Allentown. It was founded more than 100 years ago as a way to preserve endangered bison and elk herds.

Why Do We Sympathize With Animal Suffering?

Feb 3, 2016
Keith Srakocic / AP Images

If you saw a runaway bus hurtling toward a dog or a tourist, who would you save? If you chose the dog, you’re not alone.

How Harsh Are Punishments For Animal Abusers In Pennsylvania?

Feb 3, 2016
Yornik / flickr

An emaciated dog was recently rescued from a Homewood apartment where it nearly starved to death at the hands of its owner. State rep. Dom Costa has introduced a bill seeking to create stronger penalties for people who beat, neglect or abuse an animal.  So why is his legislation languishing in the House Judiciary Committee? We'll ask Representative Costa his thoughts as well as Mary Withrow, director of government and community relations at the Humane Society of Western Pennsylvania. We'll also ask Dan Rossi, executive director at the Animal Rescue League, how his organization handles abuse cases.

Hillary H / Flickr

As temperatures creep back into the 90s next week, one state lawmaker says he's looking ahead to protect dogs and other pets from being left in vehicles unattended.

The Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act would “prohibit the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and wellbeing of the animal.” The violation would be a summary offense, which is the most minor criminal offense in the state and generally comes with a fine.

Courtesy Photo/ ADI

Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) is finalizing a bill that would ban "exotic animals" from circus performances in Pennsylvania.

The bill follows an announcement by Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus that “The Greatest Show on Earth” will phase out use of elephants by 2018. Leach said this was a step in the right direction, but his bill goes further.

Pennsylvania is not known for its large population of sharks or elephants, but two state senators are taking steps to protect these, and some more common animals.

Sens. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) and Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) say that bullhooks, and shark fin trade need to be banned in our State. Bullhooks are wooden boards with sharp hooks on the end intended to cause pain.