Horses will now have increased protections under the law just like dogs and cats. First-time offenders can be charged with a felony for serious offenses.

Pennsylvania Governor Signs Tougher Animal Cruelty Bill into Law

Felony for first-time abusers

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the animal cruelty bill into law Wednesday meaning tougher penalties for animal abusers.

Horses will now have increased protections under the law just like dogs and cats. First-time offenders can now be charged with a felony for serious offenses. And the law requires convicted abusers to forfeit their animals.

The bill also protects veterinarians, techs, and humane society officials from civil lawsuits when reporting cases of animal cruelty.

“The story of Libre’s shocking mistreatment and miraculous recovery helped spur a broader discussion of how we can better protect animals,” said Sen. Rich Alloway. “The result is a bill that not only toughens penalties against abusers but also spells out the kind of treatment that is dangerous and unacceptable.”

Introduced by Rep. Todd Stephens, Act 10 of House Bill 1238 updates existing animals abuse statutes.

“Today is a day of celebration for all Pennsylvanians, and animal-lovers everywhere and I am proud to be a part of the true collaboration that helped make this landmark legislation a reality,” said Governor Wolf in a press statement.

The law takes effect in the Commonwealth in 60 days.