Governor Signs Bill Into Law; Stricter Penalties For Animal Abusers

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HARRISBURG -- Time and time again, you've heard stories about animal abuse in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. But with a stroke of the pen, those caught mistreating pets can now face heavier fines and even felony charges, thanks to several new laws signed by Governor Tom Wolf Wednesday.

The overhaul bill includes increased penalties for animal abuse up to a felony, added protections for horses, rules for tethering, and civil immunity for those animal professions when reporting animal cruelty in good faith.

"It's nice to know that animals now are being considered more as family members rather than just possessions," said Marlene Metzger, a humane officer in Wayne County.

Under the new law, pet owners can only tether animals outside for nine hours when it's nice outside and 30 minutes when it's not.

"Animal tethering is huge in Pennsylvania," Metzger added. "There have been no laws for tethering other than you had to provide food water and shelter, which isn't really that hard."

Metzger does admit that enforcement will be tough on some of these laws given how time-consuming they can be to observe.


  • What about abused children?

    That’s all fine and dandy, but how about. Stricter laws and penalties for child abusers instead. I think children need more protection than an animal. Don’t get me wrong tho. Anyone who abuses an animal is a coward and an idiot.

  • Dnnsbdjfkvork

    What about hunting

    Beagles are designed to be outside.

    What about goats?

    What an IDIOT governor. He’s like a ninny or something.

    Poorly thought out law.

  • dave

    this is a bad law they are animal not humans. i don’t think that they should be mistreated but they are still just animals are you going to arrest every one who eats a hamburger or a piece of fried chicken ha maybe a felony count for flushing the gold fish your six year old forgot to feed or what about the mice your wife viciously killed in the inhumane mouse trap snap their goes his neck the state is facing a heroin epidemic that is killing our children but the Governor is worried about the furry critters maybe they voted for him

    • Kat

      The only person who can never be broken hearted, is a heartless person. I guess some people are that way for a reason, but I’ll never really understand it. I’m glad the governor is giving a voice to the abused animals. It’s long over due.

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