NORTH MANHEIM TOWNSHIP -- Workers at the Hillside SPCA in Schuylkill County can breathe a sigh of relief on a hot day like this now that Pennsylvania has Libre's Law.
"Seeing dogs chained outside year-round, 24/7 is horrible," Hillside SPCA Assistant Manager Tricia Moyer-Mentzer said. "I don't know how anybody could have a dog chained outside because that's horrific."
Libre's Law increases penalties for owners who commit animal abuse up to a felony, with stiffer penalties. There is a specific part of the law that says animals can only be tethered outside when it is nice out for nine hours. When it is below 32 degrees or above 90, animals can only be tethered up for 30 minutes.
Workers at Hillside SPCA said the new law would make it easier for them to take people to court for abusing their animals.
"The animals we've tried to help in the past, basically people have gotten a slap on the wrist for abusing animals and it's not really worth our time and effort taking people to court because basically, they would just get a $300 fine," Moyer-Mentzer said.
Libre's Law also has provisions that would protect horses and give immunity to animal services officials who report animal abuse in good faith.