Libre’s law was passed by Pennsylvania’s legislature in June 2017 and subsequently came fully into effect in August 2017. The new law resulted largely from public pressure and the belief that the existing animal cruelty laws were too lenient to serve as a deterrent.
It’s also caused the number of animal cruelty cases to rise dramatically. For example, there were only 16 cases of animal cruelty charges in 2017, compared to 290 that were brought by just the end of May this year alone. Convictions are also on the rise.
Who is bearing the brunt of the charges?
Libre’s Law essentially empowers vets, police and private citizens to alert the authorities of suspected animal abuse. It has also given law enforcement officers more power than ever to conduct investigations and remove animals from harmful or potentially harmful situations.
Some of the targets of these investigations include:
- People who have animals despite prohibitions, such as those who have already been convicted of animal abuse in the past and are under an injunction not to have any pets or livestock on their property.
- The owners of “puppy mills” are also being targeted across Pennsylvania. Puppy mills can be described as inhumane facilities that purposely breed puppies in high volumes for profit while ignoring the needs of the animals. The PCPCA suspects that this phenomenon could be on the rise.
- Owners who leave their pets outside in poor conditions. For example, as an owner, if you leave your dog outside for more than nine hours per day, tethered in an inhumane way or without adequate water and shelter.
Facing animal abuse charges is very serious. Depending on the grade or severity of the charges, you could face anywhere from 90 days in jail to seven years in prison, and fines range from $300 to $15,000.
If you find yourself accused of animal neglect or cruelty under Libre’s Law, take immediate action to defend your rights and your future.