HARRISBURG (April 19) – Senators Andy Dinniman and Rich Alloway II announced a package of pet protection bills today to help prevent animal cruelty.

The pet protection package includes seven bills and two resolutions designed to ensure fewer animals are subjected to mistreatment and inhumane living conditions.

Senator Dinniman with his new rescue dog, Jazz, during a recent visit to his office.

Senator Dinniman with his new rescue dog, Jazz, during a recent visit to his office. Sadly, Jazz later passed away due to a pre-existing health condition.

“Nearly four years ago I and fellow animal advocates held a rally to ban the gassing of animals. And we succeeded: We banned this inhumane practice in Pennsylvania with the passage of Act 182 of 2012,” Dinniman said. “But our work on behalf of pets and all animals is far from done. We still have to increase the penalties for animal cruelty, we still need a law that allows therapy dogs and their handlers on public transportation, and we still must reform our judicial system to better recognize how much pets mean to us.”

“Pets of all shapes and sizes help to provide love and companionship to millions of households across the state,” Alloway said. “Given the tremendous impact our pets have in terms of our quality of life, we owe it to all of these animals to ensure they can enjoy a safe, loving environment before and after they are adopted by loving families.”

Bills in the package include:

  • SB 78 (Alloway) – Preventing serious Dog Law violators from operating kennels under a family member’s name.
  • SB 373 (Alloway) – Setting standards for animal shelters and tethering
  • SB 573(McIlhinney) – Placing all Dog Law fines and penalties collected in the Dog Law Restricted Account to be used for enforcement activities
  • SB 593 (Dinniman) – Civil damages for abusing or killing a dog or cat
  • SB 594 (Dinniman) – Protecting animals from being injured or killed in a domestic violence situation
  • SB 640 (Dinniman) – Allowing therapy dogs on public transportation, including buses and trains
  • SB 727 (Alloway) – Directing PennDOT to develop a Spay/Neuter specialty license plate.
  • SR 57 (Dinniman) – Improving the method of informing state residents of animal-control responsibilities.

Alloway also plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate on Monday designating the week of April 19-25 as “Adopt a Shelter Pet Week” in Pennsylvania.

The press conference was followed by a “Be Kind to Pets” rally on the Capitol steps, which was attended by pet owners, shelters, organizations and animals from communities throughout the state.

In recognition of Adopt a Shelter Pet Week, Senator Dinniman was joined at the press conference by Jazz, a standard poodle he and his wife, Margo, recently rescued from near certain euthanization in a New York City shelter. Dinniman said Jazz is recovering well and has already brought immense love and joy to his family.

More information on the press conference and the rally are available online at www.senatoralloway.com and at www.senatordinniman.com.