Governor Tom Wolf is reminding citizens across Pennsylvania to bring pets indoors as temperatures continue to drop.
New animal cruelty protections, signed into law in June 2017, include new protections and penalties for cold weather. Act 10, which strengthens Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws, states that a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Animals also must be provided sanitary shelter that allows the animal to maintain normal body temperature and keeps the animal dry all year.
“This is the first cold weather season since we strengthened the animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania, which include temperature and shelter restrictions for outdoor pets,” said Governor Wolf. “For far too long we have heard stories of neglected and abused animals who suffered because of deplorable treatment, and with our new landmark anti-cruelty legislation in place, penalties will be enforced for individuals who abuse or neglect an animal.”
Earlier this year, the governor signed Libre’s Law – the updated measures clarify the definition of abuse and raise penalties and training and education programs are being developed to prepare authorities responsible for protecting animals through identification and prosecution of animal cruelty crimes.
“The Humane Society of the United States, Pennsylvania Vet Medical Association, and a number of state and federal agencies strongly support the anti-tethering components of Act 10, which include long overdue, reasonable stipulations regarding the length of time and conditions in which a dog can be kept outside during inclement weather,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Continuous tethering can cause severe physical damages such as cracked and bleeding paws, frostbite and hypothermia. We encourage the public to help to keep the dogs of Pennsylvania safe and warm this winter by reporting animal neglect to the local humane society police officer, local or state police. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.”