Suggested Revision to PA Animal Cruelty Statute sign now

To the honorable members of the Pennsylvania State Senate:

We, the undersigned, are saddened and appalled by the rash of incidents of animal cruelty that have occurred in recent months throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Equally disturbing are the relatively minor sentences imposed on those persons convicted of cruelty to animals.

18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5511(a)(1) provides that it is a misdemeanor of the second degree to willfully and maliciously kill, maim or disfigure any domestic animal or fowl of another person. Persons convicted of violating this section "shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500".

18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5511(2.1)(i)(A) provides that it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to willfully and maliciously kill, maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure any dog or cat. Persons convicted of violating this section "shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both".

The undersigned are of the belief that the foregoing penalties are not sufficiently stringent to act as a deterrent against potential incidents of cruelty to domestic animals. Further, as it is well documented that individuals who abuse animals often progress to committing acts of violence against human beings, the undersigned are of the belief that more severe penalties must be enacted to combat this scourge of unwarranted violence against animals.

The undersigned respectfully request the honorable members of the Pennsylvania State Senate to amend the foregoing laws so as to reclassify the above-referenced violations as felonies of the third degree. Such amendment of the law is particularly warranted in light of the fact that it is presently a felony of the third degree in Pennsylvania to commit violence against zoo animals in captivity.

The undersigned thank their respected Senators for their consideration of the foregoing petition.

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Erica FrazierBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
Pennsylvania State Senate

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