This page is dedicated to the memory of Henry, Senator Dinniman’s trusty poodle who visited many schools and events with him to raise awareness of humane legislation. Please feel free to peruse the page for information on the Senator’s “pet” projects and bills that aim to ensure that all pet animals are treated humanely and properly cared for.
Senator Dinniman has long been a vocal advocate for tough animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania. In 2008, he was a strong supporter of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, which cracked down on puppy mills by tightening kennel regulations and standards. In 2009, he worked to pass Act 38, which helps ensure that kennel dogs receive safe and proper medical care.
Most recently, Dinniman led the movement to pass “Daniel’s Law,” which bans the carbon monoxide gassing of pet animals in Pennsylvania. Thanks to his efforts and the tireless work of a grassroots coalition of supporters, the legislature approved and the governor signed Act 182 of 2012 into law. The law, which also bans the use of several other inhumane methods of euthanization, was named for Daniel, a beagle that survived an Alabama gas chamber and is now enjoying his new life after being adopted by a New Jersey family.
In an ongoing effort to ensure that animals are treated humanely in Pennsylvania, Dinniman has introduced several pieces of new legislation.
Recognizing the link between violence against animals and violence against people, Dinniman continues to push for Senate Bill 594, his Pet Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, legislation that calls for strengthening Pennsylvania’s Animal Cruelty Law to increase the penalty when animal abuse happens in a domestic-violence situation. All too often, an estranged spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend will get back at their partner by hurting or killing their pet. Under this bill, if a person who is under a protection-from-abuse order commits animal cruelty against the pet of their spouse or partner, they would be charged with a third-degree felony instead of a first-degree misdemeanor, as is now the case.
In addition, Dinniman is a strong supporter and first co-sponsor of Senate Bill 373, legislation that would prohibit the tethering of dogs for extended periods of time and in extreme conditions. The bill would require all tethers to provide unfettered access to shelter, food, water and shade and would also prohibit the use of choke collars, pinch collars and other chain collars that could cause injuries.