New Pa. law makes leaving animals in cold felony

Libre's Law increases penalties in Pennsylvania animal neglect cases

Libre's Law, Pennsylvania, animal abuse and neglect


MERCER CO., Pa. (WKBN) – With record-breaking cold temperatures, humane agents are reminding pet owners to keep animals inside where it’s warm.

Libre’s Law increases penalties in animal neglect cases. The new Pennsylvania state law could make pet owners felons if they mistreat or neglect dogs and other pets — that includes leaving them outside in the cold for too long.

“Don’t leave them outside,” said Mercer County Humane Officer Paul Tobin. “The new law is pretty clear.”

According to the law, a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some exceptions to the law, including tethering the dog for hunting or sport.

A person can face felony charges for intentionally torturing, neglecting, or abusing an animal to the point of severe injury or death.

Punishment can be up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

If you see or know of an animal being abused or neglected, call 911 and report it immediately.

Editor’s note: Mercer County Humane Officer Paul Tobin is quoted as saying animals cannot be left outside for longer than 20 minutes while they’re tethered. The law says animals can’t be left outside for more than 30 minutes. The story online has been corrected. 

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