COOPER TOWNSHIP -- It was a special day for Pepper, a terrier/pit bull mix, and other animals at the Pennsylvania SPCA Center just outside of Danville.
Workers are celebrating a milestone of 150 years of taking care of animals and a new law that would create stiffer penalties for animal abuse certainly was the icing on the cake.
“We are going to be able to add more teeth to the statue for officers to enforce it in a better way. In a way that is more consistent on how people feel about their animals and the way society wants to see their animals be treated,” said Nicole Wilson, a humane officer.
The soon to be law better known as the "Libre's Law" was named after Libre, a rescued Boston Terrier. Back in 2016, Libre was rescued from a farm in Lancaster County, malnourished and in bad shape.
The bill would mean stiffer penalties for those who mistreat animals like Pepper, who was emaciated and left alone.
Under the new law, neglect and cruelty would carry 90-day jail sentences and hundreds of dollars in fines. Those convicted of torturing animals could face up to seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
“It’s one of those things that is going to help us continue our mission for another 150 years hopefully we are at a point that we work ourselves out of business,” Carlee Fiddes.
Nicole Wilson says with the governor's signature this sends a loud message to those that choose to abuse animals.
“We not only love our animals but it's beyond that. There is a basic level of care that any living creature deserves to have and this is the legislature, the Senate standing up and saying, 'We are now providing you with the tools to make it happen,'” said Wilson.
A spokesperson from the governor’s office says Governor Wolf is expected to sign the bill into law next week.