House votes to toughen animal cruelty laws, tethering rules

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 26, 2017 3:50 PM

Photo by Colin Hackley/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States

(Harrisburg) -- A set of revisions to Pennsylvania's criminal laws concerning cruelty to animals is on its way to the Senate after passage by the state House of Representatives.

The bill approved Wednesday 167 to 20 would establish grades of violations up to a felony for intentionally torturing an animal or neglect or abuse that causes it severe injury or death.

State law currently makes animal abuse a felony only if it involves animal fighting, severe abuse to zoo animals or endangered species or repeated and severe abuse of cats or dogs.

The bill would establish that an owner presumably neglected a tethered dog if there's excessive feces where it's tied up, the animal has open sores or the owner has used a tow or log chain, choke collar or similar devices.

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